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NEW HAVEN—The Bellmont girls basketball team scored nearly five times as many points in the second half Saturday night than it did in the first half and thus earned a 40-35 win over the New Haven Bulldogs in the NHC opener for the Squaws.
Of course, that offensive production wasn't that difficult considering the Squaws went into the locker room at halftime with just seven points scored on 3-22 shooting (13.6 percent).
New Haven's Haley Fox tallied an opening second half bucket for a 15-7 lead but the alarm clock for Bellmont, which failed to sound in the first half, went off loud and clear and over the final 16 minutes of the game as the Squaws shot nearly 60 percent on 13-22 including showings by Taylor Kuhnle and Courtney Scherer in the third period of 4-4 and 3-4.
Kuhnle keyed the Bellmont third period comeback scoring three straight baskets to cut the lead to 15-13 and she hit a cutting Scherer streaking to the basket with a pass for the tying score. The Squaws weren't content to quit, however, as they finished off a 14-0 run on baskets from Brooke Zimmerman, Audrey Schultz and Scherer, the latter coming off a steal in which Scherer went coast-to-coast for a 21-15 advantage.
New Haven never got closer for the rest of the game than four as Hannah Hope hit the final two baskets of the third period to narrow the BHS edge to 25-21. A 9-2 burst in the final stanza gave Bellmont its largest lead of the game at 36-25.
The Bellmont defense stepped up its game in the final half with Kuhnle coming up big with 2:08 left by deftly swiping the ball from a Bulldog player driving to the basket and with 1:47 bodies flew to the floor after a loose ball resulting in a jump ball. During the scrum for the ball, however, New Haven's Angela Lahr tossed an elbow resulting in a technical foul giving the Squaws the ball back after Kuhnle made one of two from the line (the arrow for the jump ball would have been in New Haven's favor).
Scherer's free throw with 1:23 was the last point scored by Bellmont giving them a 40-30 advantage and Coach Andy Heim used several time outs in the final minute as a New Haven press resulted in five Bulldog points before time ran out.
Asked if he tape recorded his halftime message to the team to replay in case it was needed again this year, Heim simply said "I was speechless at half. Sometimes you can go in there and give your team a pep talk or thoughts about what they could improve on. But I was just speechless. It's like we didn't show up in the first half. The disappointing thing was that everything New Haven did was something we had gone over in practice."