Beating the odds...again?
By DYLAN MALONE
The Squaws were already out-ranked by the Delta Eagles entering Tuesday night’s regional battle.
According to the coaches’ poll for Indiana class 3A, Bellmont was ranked fifth and the Eagles were surging as the third best team in the state.
None of that seemed to matter to the seniors at BHS as they put a serious beat down on Delta at the Teepee in four games.
The Eagles really were lucky to get that second game. I suppose credit is due to them for hanging around long enough to let the Squaws make a few mental errors. By the same token, though, more than a few errors were the reason Delta looked no different than the 31 other teams they’ve beaten badly this season.
Bellmont looked on their game.
You would have thought that scouts were picking up on the tendencies of these girls flying around the gym but our looks are as deceiving as the Columbia City match to start the tournament. The other Eagles we beat gave a better fight than the Delta Eagles...
I have to ease up on the razzing, however, as they are just high schoolers after all.
Things just add up for these kids that are simply not tangible or even noticeable to the adults cheering (and jeering) in the stands.
I can imagine just how much pressure these girls are under to perform and it only strengthens the belief that these Bellmont Squaws could snatch a third state title in a decade if they remain focused.
We saw first hand what a young group did when Delta burst on the scene only to fizzle out under the enormous weight of the Pink Out crowd at the Teepee. At times those girls just seemed like they wanted to get back on the bus and head home as quickly as possible. Bellmont obliged them.
Saturday’s semi-state will be a different story for the Squaws as well as a bigger venue and a different crowd. There won’t be any Sweet Caroline playing to get our fans pumped up.
Oh yeah, and the number one team in 3A, Mishawaka Marian, will be our opponent at 11 a.m. for match one.
We’ve faced bigger odds than this as a high school program. Just ask coach Getts about their sectional title two years back and the one they’re working on now while nobody is looking.
I’m sensing a pattern at Bellmont as Bailey Beery gears up for a solo run at the state title on Saturday as well.
The kids just win and they don’t care about what it says on a piece of paper. Favored or not, bigger schools or similar sizes. Bellmont seems to be on a war path on the athletic front.
Not that the other two schools aren’t, however. The Starfire men are going to accomplish something no other sports team at SA has ever done, participate in a state team event.
The Jets are no slouches either. It was disappointing to see the volleyball team go down against Woodlan in sectionals but let’s not forget they ran the table on the ACAC once again this season going unblemished with a tourney title as well knocking off the Warriors twice in the process.
The tennis team went to regionals again this year as well for AC, something that gets lost in translation sometimes in fall sports as we watch football and volleyball continue late into October.
This only adds to the stewing drama of what winter will bring.
I can’t get into all of it right now but there are some intriguing storylines to be ventured into in the coming months.
Can Bellmont’s boys basketball team become that feared product that Braves fans got spoiled from back in the early 2000s?
What will Adams Central’s retooled line-up look like on the hardwood this season after the departure of Dalton Combs and Isaac Luginbill?
Can coach Brown get some cohesion from a South Adams basketball team that has gotten complacent with youth?
Then there’s the wrestling storylines that Jim could do WAAAAY more justice on than I. Bellmont got the snub once again for the new team state slate, while Adams Central will return to protect their title at the 1A level.
And what about the Starfires? Can coach Humble bring the same attitude left in the wake of coach Myers’ departure?
Time will tell for those questions but I’m more interested in the present. Adams County is kicking teams around in the fall still.