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The Bellmont Braves 8th grade boys’ basketball team battled to a runner-up finish in the Commodore Classic tournament held at St. Joseph Catholic School in Decatur on Friday and Saturday, January 3-4, finishing with a 3-2 record on the weekend.
The Classic was a seven-team tournament comprised of teams from Decatur, Ossian, New Haven, and Fort Wayne. The BMS Braves' only losses in the tournament were to eventual champion and #1-seeded St. John the Baptist of Fort Wayne.
The Braves opened up the tournament Friday evening by defeating St. Joe's team 36-22 in pool play. The Braves then fell to St. John's 33-23 on Saturday morning earning them the 3-seed entering the knock out bracket.
In the quarterfinals of the knockout bracket, the Braves had a rematch with the #6-seeded St. Joseph’s, this time winning by a 51-24 margin. BMS then defeated the #2-seed Bethlehem Lutheran (Ossian) by a score of 36-25 in the semi-finals to advance to the championship game and forcing a rematch against St. John the Baptist.
On the other side of the knockout bracket, St. John's had earned the #1-seed by going undefeated in pool play, which also earned them a bye in the quarterfinals, advancing straight to the semi-finals where they defeated St. John New Haven, 40-27.
The championship game was the fourth game of the day for both teams, and the fifth in less than 24 hours for the Braves. The game was close and extremely competitive the entire way with BMS playing tough defensively. The game's decision was never more than a one or two possession game until St. John hit two key three-pointers in the final two minutes to provide the difference, winning 34-26 over the Braves.