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Cougars finish strong, beat Braves 67-50

January 17, 2011

TIP-OFF — Van Wert's Corey Clifton (left) and Bellmont's Logan Smith fight for the ball on the opening tip Saturday afternoon at BHS. Clifton scored 18 points to lead the 10-0 Cougars to a 67-50 win. (Photo by Jim Hopkins)

        Bellmont charged out of the locker room and outscored visiting Van Wert 8-1 to start the third period, taking a 41-40 lead, but the unbeaten Cougars regrouped, found their offense and outscored the Braves 27-9 the rest of the way for a 67-50 win Saturday afternoon.
    "They came to play a little bit and obviously shot it better than they did last night, and they were a little comfortable early," stated veteran Van Wert David Froelich.
    "We we just had to keep at it and we did a little bit better job in the second half of getting out on the shooters and containing the ball. We made a couple of jump shots when things got going. Once we do that we can get some space and get our shots.
    They're tough, they're physical, so Bellmont's a difficult match for a team like ours."
    Key shooting guard Jacob Myers missed his first two trey attempts in the third period, but hit three straight in the second half and finished with 17 points. Corey Clifton tallied eight of his game-high 18 points in the final period as the Cougars outscored the Braves 18-8 to pull away.
    The Braves hung in there in the first half against the unbeaten Cougars and trailed 39-33 at intermission. Senior Joe Baker scored 10 of his team-high 12 points in the first half and Forrest Fullenkamp, in just his second game back after rehabbing his left knee from a severe football injury, hit his first three shots of the game and scored seven of his nine points in the opening half.
    In that run to start period three, Kyle Lehrman hit a free throw, then Jacob Hood connected on a charity toss for Van Wert. Logan Smith drove inside for a bucket and was fouled, and hit the free toss for a 40-37 score.
    Lehrman got rolling as the Braves turned up the juice. He hit a bucket off a drive and later scored to complete a fast break as the Braves led 41-40.
    Clifton hit a bucket to give Van Wert the lead back, then Baker committed his fourth foul, a charging call, and seconds later Smith was called for his fourth foul as the Bellmont charge sputtered.
    Austin Fleming scored off an inbounds pass for a 44-41 Van Wert lead. After Selking hit a charity toss, Myers stuck in a three from the top of the key. Van Wert took a 49-42 lead into the final period.
    Myers started the fourth period with another trey from the top of the key and Reggie Phillips scored on a fast break as the Cougars pulled away.
    The game, made up from a Tuesday cancellation due to weather, was played in the afternoon because Bellmont had a girls game slated Saturday night.
    Froelich didn't think the timing of the game, after each team played Friday night, had anything to do with the outcome.
    "These are 17- and 18-year-old kids, they stay up all night and play all day long, and both teams faced the same thing. It's a little different, but that's okay. We're going to see different things throughout a year. Hopefully, this is something we can build on. We're happy to come over here and get a win, and keep it going."
    Jake Myers hits a couple, and suddenly we get on a spurt.
    "I thought we made them a little more uncomfortable in that second half," said the Van Wert coach. Bellmont was forced into seven of their 20 turnovers in the period.
    "We jumped out, tipped the ball a few times,  and interrupted their timing. We're not big and tall, so we just can't line up and play. Then Myers hit a couple of shots and we were off and running."
    Bellmont outrebounded the visitors 28-21 with Smith grabbing seven, Baker five and Matt Chronister four. Bellmont had 13 assists with guard Payton Selking dishing out six and Baker four. Selking added eight points while Lehrman had seven, Smith six, Chronister four in 14 minutes of play, and Nick Fuelling scored four points.
    Phillips added 11 for Van Wert while Fleming put in eight and Jacob Hood seven.
    Van Wert won the jayvee game, 51-35. Matt Stidam scored 17 for Bellmont while Lance Vergara scored five and Brian Fullenkamp three points.
    In a freshman game, Bellmont played North Side, losing 59-40.  Cameron Bienz led BHS with 11 points while Ross Smith scored 10 and Chase Ellsworth six.

Van Wert 67, Bellmont 50
COUGARS 10-0
    FG-A    3G-A    FT-A    TP
Clifton    6-17    1-9    5-8    18
Myers    6-10    3-5    2-2    17
Phillips    4-8    0-0    3-3    11
Fleming    3-5    0-0    2-4    8
Hood    2-2    2-2    1-3    7
Doidge    1-1    1-1    0-0    3
Hurless    1-3    1-2    0-0    3
Jo. Moonshower    0-1    0-0    0-0    0
Ja. Moonshower    0-0    0-0    0-0    0
Totals  23-47 8-20 13-20 67

BRAVES 3-7
Baker    4-13    2=7    2-2    12
Fullenkamp    4-12    1-4    0-0    9
Selking    3-6    1-4    1-2    9
Lehrman    3-5    0-0    1-2    7
Smith    2-4    0-0    2-3    6
Fuelling    1-5    1-2    1-2    4
Chronister    2-4    0--0    0-0    4
Hall    0-0    0-0    0-0    0
Totals  19-49 5-17 7-11 50

Score By Quarters
Van Wert    23    16    10    18    67
Braves    18    15    9    88    50

  Fouls: VW 15, BHS 21.
  TO: VW 15, Bellmont 20.
  REB: BHS 28 (Smith 7, Baker 5, Chronister 4), VW 21 (Hood 6).
  ASSISTS: BHS 13 (Selking 6, Baker 4); VW 10 (Clifton 4).
  STEALS: BHS 4, VW 8 (Myers 3, Hood 2).
 
JV: V. Wert 51, Bellmont 35
  VW:  Coil    5-7 1-3 4-4 15, Smith 5-8 1-4 2-2 13, Ray 3-4 0-0 6; Phillips 2-5 0-1 2-2 6, Markward 1-3 0-1 3-4 5; Keber 0-0 2-2 2; Barnhart 0-0 1-2 1; Totals 17-30 2-9 15-23 51.
  BHS: Stidam 7-14 2-7 1-2 17. Vergara 2-7 1-2 0-0 5, B. Fullenkamp 0-4 3-4 3, Schueler 1-7 0-4 0-0 2, Collier 1-1 0-0 0-3 2, Tinsley 0-0 0-0 2-2 2, Selking 1-1 0-0 0-0 2, J Hall 1-2 0-0 0-0 2, Jauregui 0-1 0-0 0-0 0, Hormann 0-0 0-0 0; Totals 13-37 3-14 6-11 35 

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