Bravesâ€™ comeback run falls short against DeKalb, 65-61
FINISHING AT THE HOOPâ€”Bellmontâ€™s Maverick Birch puts in a lay-up after clearing space in an earlier contest. The Braves fell just short of upsetting DeKalb at the Teepee on Thursday night, 65-61. (Photo by Deb Shannon)
Bellmont came a few free throws short of upsetting DeKalb at the Teepee on Thursday night as the Barons escaped with a 65-61 win over the Braves in NHC action.
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The Braves were down by as many as 10 points early in the fourth quarter but some gutsy baskets kept the game interesting down the stretch including a basket plus the foul for Logan Baker that cut the lead to five points at 51-46.
Parker Zeser was a big part of the comeback effort as well for the Braves as his rebound putback plus the foul brought the game to a three-point lead with under a 30 seconds left in the game and the Barons up 64-61.
Bellmont battled for loose balls throughout the fourth quarter to get the game within reach but on the next possession DeKalb big man Cole Hartman scored one of two free throws to make it a four-point advantage and 25 seconds to go. He had 19 points in the game.
On the other end Zeser missed a three from the wing and the scramble for the ball left only 7.5 seconds left with the Barons in possession. Cameron Bienz stole the rebound at mid-court and tried for his fifth three-pointer of the game but the shot was long and the ball skated out of bounds as time expired.
Despite the loss, Bellmont coach John Baker was very optimistic after the game, "The two things we can control is our attitude and our effort and those are the things we did well in the game tonight. With two seconds left down five points we still had guys diving out of bounds."
Bellmont has been playing better basketball as a unit of late putting a scare into a very talented Concordia Lutheran team and then topping East Noble on the road for their first conference win. The loss brings Bellmont's NHC schedule to a close with the Braves finishing seventh place at 1-6 on the year, 4-11 overall.
Six-foot senior guard Adison Daub led the Barons to a 16-5 lead after one quarter with a pair of three-pointers in the opening frame. DeKalb hit four threes in all to start the first eight minutes en route to the advantage early as Bellmont struggled to get shots to fall scoring only two field goals in the quarter.
Coach Baker knew that the senior would be a handful for the Braves on the perimeter.
"Daub has been All-Conference for three years now and a very good player. Towards the end of the game they tried to run a lot of things through him and he went 9-10 from the line."
Daub ended with 25 points, a game-high, en route the win for the Barons, which came with excellent execution from the foul line down the stretch. In the game, DeKalb shot 22-30 from the free throw line (73%) but made 10-14 in the fourth quarter as the Braves tried to extend the game.
Bellmont shot the ball well in the game (50%; 23-46) but only 9-15 from the free throw line (60%). Down the stretch the Braves made 6-7, all in the fourth quarter, but went 3-8 in the first half.