Squawsâ€™ defense stifles Stars on senior night, 35-21
SENIOR NIGHT MOMENTSâ€”(L-R) Brooke Zimmerman, Devon Schultz, Audrey Schultz, and Taylor Kuhnle enjoyed the fruits of their hard work with a victory over South Adams on Friday night, senior night, at the Teepee, 35-21. (Photo by Deb Shannon)
Bellmont held South Adams scoreless in the first quarter en route to a 35-21 victory at the Teepee on Friday night.
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The Squaws made the most out of the senior night season finale by earning their fifth win of the season and snapping an eight-game losing streak in the process.
South Adams, on the other hand, fell to 7-12 on the year finishing on a two-game losing skid after back-to-back losses to county foe Adams Central and now Bellmont. County bragging rights belong to the Squaws this year as Bellmont topped AC earlier in December completing the sweep.
In Friday night's tilt, Bellmont jumped out to a 15-0 lead spanning into the second quarter before SA's Lauren Smith drained a 10-foot jumper from the elbow at 5:15 left in the second frame to put the Lady Stars on the board.
"We came out and gave them a lot of pressure trying out our zone full-court looks," Bellmont coach Andy Heim noted. "I don't care who the team is, anytime you shut out a team in a quarter you have to pretty happy with the effort."
South Adams' struggles rooted from a lack of offensive direction without their leading scorer, Dzejna Ahmetovic, in the game. The 6'0" junior was sitting out as a precaution for SA coach Brett Freeman with a strained MCL.
"We kind of thought we would make a little better on the offense than we did even without Dzejna," admitted coach Freeman, "We made some bad decisions in the first half including bad passes."
Bellmont forced South Adams into six first quarter turnovers, while allowing only six shot attempts, none of which were fruitful leaving the Stars scoreless after one at 11-0 in favor of the Squaws. SA had 21 TO's total in the game.
Taylor Kuhnle, the only Squaws' senior playing well on the night, had six points early to spark the offense including a 15-foot jumper towards the end of the quarter.
Smith would tack on a lay-up before halftime for the Stars and Bellmont led 17-4 heading into the locker room.
"I think Ahmetovic being out contributed to our success a little bit but we've handled height throughout the year with good help-side defense so I'm not sure how big of a factor she would have been," said Heim after the game. The Stars found a way out of their funk in the third quarter as junior Alyssa Bluhm reached the scoreboard with five of South Adams' seven points in the third. The teams played even for the most part but Bellmont still held a big advantage up 25-11 after three.
"In the second half we came out with a lot better energy but we still couldn't get into a flow on offense," noted coach Freeman.