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Central Mountain advances to second round; tops Red Raiders

LOCK HAVEN -It all starts here.
Central Mountain came out strong in its 2018 District 6 post season debut as it used its high tempo defense to take care of a scrappy Bellefonte team, 51-33 Monday night at the Wildcats’ gym.
Turnovers proved to be the Red Raiders Achilles heel offensively as Bellefonte’s offense never seemed to be able to get itself going.
Defensively, the Wildcats literally cut off the middle lanes only allowing few touches in the lane.
Offensively, Central Mountain was led by Collin Jones’ game-High 18-points, most of which came in transition.
Running mate Issiah McCann also hit double figures as he scored 12, most of his also came on the run.
One bright spot for Bellefonte was the inside play of Caleb Rockey.
Rockey seemed to be one of the few Red Raiders that we’re able to score in the paint more than once, posting a 12-point and 6-rebound effort.
Teammate Noah Badger also pulled down six boards while finishing with a 4-point showing.
Central Mountain came out firing on all cylinders both on offense and defense.
After getting the tip, the Wildcats got the ball inside to McCann who went right up, taking the early lead.
The Wildcats put pressure on defense early, starting things out in a full court press.
After forcing a turnover, the ball went to Jones and he delivered the bucket.
Badger put his team on the scoreboard as he pulled down an offensive board and put it back, cutting it to 4-2 with 6:35 left in the period.
But the press continued to work as the Wildcats went on a 6-0 run, putting Central Mountain up 10-2 causing Bellefonte to call a time out with 3:37 showing in the opening period.
After regrouping, the Red Raiders got back on the board as the worked the ball around the key and found a wide open Bailey Decker. Decker squared his feet and launched a triple cutting it to a 10-5 deficit.
However, Central pulled away in the final two minutes to take a 15-5 advantage into the second.
Rockey got things started for Bellefonte to start the second, hitting a runner in the lane.
But McCann and Jones hit consecutive buckets to up the Wildcats advantage to 19-7, forcing another Red Raider time out.
Like after the first time out, Bellefonte scored. This time they once again got the ball inside to Rockey.
After consecutive turnovers, Jones made the most of it, posting four points in transition.
Bellefonte went on a mini run of its own outscoring the Wildcats 4-2 on buckets by Rockey and Jaymz McCelland, making it 26-13.
But the Wildcats’ press proved to be too much for the Red Raiders as it caused Central Mountain to score the final two buckets and take a 29-13 advantage into the intermission.
It was a slugfest in the third quarter as both defenses were able to hold the other to just 11 points in the period.
Nate Tice led the Red Raiders with five and Rockey chipped in with four. Central Mountain got a 3-point effort from Conner Soo and two points apiece from McCann, JT Pentz, Jones and Trevor Hanna.
When the final stanza got underway, the Wildcats held a 40-24 advantage.
Despite battling hard, the Red Raiders could not overcome the deficit and the Wildcats were not going to let up as the home team took home a 51-33 win.

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