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FORT WAYNE—The good news for the Bellmont Squaws basketball team Tuesday night was they didn't miss a single foul shot in their non-conference clash with the state's fifth-ranked Concordia Cadets.
Unfortunately, when there's good news, there's usually bad news as well and in this situation it was that the Squaws shot ZERO foul shots on the night with Concordia being whistled for only four common fouls in the game as the host Cadets breezed their way to an easy 50-20 decision over the Squaws.
The contest was never in doubt as the 3-1 Cadets scored first just 10 seconds into the game. The closest the Squaws got after that was a 4-2 deficit on a jumper by Bailey Christlieb but the Cadets then ran off seven straight points and eventually led 22-4 at the first period buzzer.
Concordia played a near flawless first period hitting 10-15 shots, outrebounded the Squaws 8-4, and had just two turnovers to Bellmont's six. Their only flaw was a 2-5 performance from the charity stripe (Concordia finished 8-16 for the night).
Bellmont did turn their performance around in the second period as they outscored Concordia 8-1 in the first four minutes of the stanza on two baskets by Courtney Scherer, one by Andi Schultz, and one by Ryann Velez. The Velez hoop brought the game down to 24-12 but Concordia ran out the final four minutes of the quarter with a 5-2 edge and added an exclamation point as a last second shot by Bellmont was soundly rejected by Courtney Smith, ending about 10 rows up in the stands.
The Cadets brought their "A" game back in the third period hitting 5-7 from the floor while the Squaws could knock in just 2-10. Outscoring Bellmont 11-4, they took a 40-18 advantage into the final period and that momentum carried on into the final eight minutes as the Cadet defense literally threw a blanket over any Bellmont offensive attempts. Bellmont managed only six points in the second half with the largest Cadet lead coming at 49-18 with 4:45 to play. With bench personnel playing basically the rest of the way, Bellmont outpointed CHS 2-1 in that period of time.
Bellmont coach Andy Heim said he couldn't remember ever having coached a game where a team didn't shoot a foul shot but simply analyzed the game difference as coming from the superior size Concordia had up front.
"We don't have the post players inside to match up against 5'10, 5'10, 5'9. They made it very difficult to get inside (Concordia was credited with six blocked shots in the game). I thought we played well there in the second period and that gave the girls a little confidence. I think we surprised Concordia a little in that period by playing as well as we did but that momentum didn't carry on to the second half where our shots didn't fall and theirs did," he said.
All four Concordia games this year have been against Northeast Hoosier Conference teams and the Cadets have easily handled East Noble, New Haven and the Squaws while being edged 46-44 by Norwell (the state's third-ranked team in the most recent ICGSA poll in class 3A).
Cadet coach Dave Miller, who coached the first 13 years of his career at Bellmont, and now has been at the helm of Concordia for the past 11 earned his 346th win as a girls coach.