Cadets erase 17-point Bellmont lead; cruise to 71-47 win over Braves
Parker Zeser on the drive. (Photo by Deb Shannon)
A nearly flawless first 10 minutes of the game Tuesday night at the Teepee found the Bellmont Braves with a huge 17-point lead over a shell-shocked Concordia Cadet team at 27-10 with 6:55 to play.
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Unfortunately, however, as the Braves found out, basketball is not a 10-minute game at the varsity level but is a 32-minute affair and the Cadets righted their ship enroute to a 71-47 decision over the Braves in non-conference action.
Bellmont could do virtually no wrong in the opening stanza.
After spotting Concordia the opening hoop of the game, the Braves ran off nine straight points and hit five of their first six shots of the quarter while finishing 9-11 in the period. Bellmont was 4-4 from behind the arc in the period with Parker Zeser canning a pair and Lance Vergara and Cam Bienz adding one trey as well and the Braves were up 22-8 at the buzzer.
Defensively, the Braves threw a 2-3 zone at the Cadets which seemed to initially confuse them and the visitors from Fort Wayne misfired often in the period on 4-18 including 0-7 from three-point range.
Bellmont's Maverick Birch and Concordia's Ryan Gross traded baskets to open round two and Vergara's second trey of the night put the Braves up at 27-10.
After that, however, it was pretty much Concordia's game the rest of the way as the athletic Cadets forced 10 Bellmont miscues in the second period that allowed them to cut 10 points off the BHS lead and make it 33-26 at the half in Bellmont's favor.
Five of the Concordia baskets in the second stanza came directly off Bellmont turnovers with leading CHS scorer D. J. McCall (20 points) getting three of those buckets.
The Concordia pressure continued in the second half with the Cadets forcing 15 Bellmont miscues while they committed only four. In the third period, Concordia soon showed fans why they're now 14-3 on the year opening with an 11-0 run in the first 2:46 of play.
Brian Gremaux, who missed four straight in the first period, hit four in a row from the field in the third quarter while McCall hit 4-6 and the Braves went from being seven up to six down at 47-41 at the end of the eight-minute session.
Eight different Concordia players scored in the final round as they outscored Bellmont 24-6.
The dagger that Concordia threw into Bellmont that Braves coach John Baker admitted really changed the momentum of the game came early in the first minute of the final quarter as Austin Harris hit back-to-back treys, the only treys of the game Concordia would make out of 15 tries.
"They just grabbed the momentum from there," Baker said, as the Cadets doubled up its lead to 53-41 with the two treys.
The closest Bellmont would get the rest of the way was 53-43 on a Seth King basket but Concordia ran the game out with an 18-4 splurge.
Baker called the performance the Braves put forth in the first period as "unbelievable. We have to have confidence in our shots and tonight we did. If we played all the time like we did in the first period, we can play with anyone."