The ball simply didn't bounce the way the Bellmont Squaws wanted it to on three different occasions late in the game Tuesday night and Bellmont was handed its second straight overtime loss of the season by the Leo Lions at the Teepee, 50-48.
Bellmont's best chance at victory came with just 2.6 ticks to go in regulation with the score tied at 42-42. After having called a timeout eight seconds earlier, Bellmont got the ball into the hands of guard Dana Kaczmarek who drove to the basket and was fouled while shooting.
A 75 percent-plus shooter from the foul line (the best on the team), Kaczmarek missed both attempts and when the ball rolled out-of-bounds and the horn sounded it appeared the game was headed into a four-minute overtime period.
Strike one for the Squaws.
Officials conferred, however, and decided there was a half-second left and that Leo had last touched the ball before going out-of-play. The Squaws then got a clean pass into forward Payton Schultz on the inbounds play and she attempted a short turnaround jumper that rimmed out giving Leo another reprieve.
Strike two for the Squaws.
After the Squaws committed four early turnovers in the overtime, it appeared the Lions were in control when Hannah Field canned the first of two free throws for a 50-46 edge with :26.6 remaining. Field missed the second shot, however, but a Bellmont miscue gave the Lions the ball back and the Squaws were forced to foul with :12.8 left.
The Leo shooter went to the line for a one-and-one and promptly fired up an air ball which automatically gave Bellmont the ball back with no time off the clock. The Squaws managed to get the ball inside to Madison Schultz and she hit a short jumper with two seconds remaining allowing the Squaws to call timeout hoping for a miracle.
That miracle, with the Lions up 50-48, nearly occurred as a mid-court pass hit Leo's Keanna Gary in the face and went out-of-bounds. Officials put 1.9 seconds on the clock for the Squaws and Mikala Quinn inbounded the ball perfectly from mid-court to Kaczmarek who was about 10 feet to the left of the basket and unguarded. She promptly popped a shot at the hoop and the orange ball rolled around the rim several times...before falling off the rim.
Strike three for the Squaws and the game belonged to Leo.
"It's tough to lose two games like this in a row," noted Bellmont coach Tory Fuelling after the game, adding "I thought we executed the plays well at the end of the game and had decent shots. Dana had a good look on that last shot, it just didn't fall."
Fuelling noted the the loss for Bellmont was not limited to the final shots that didn't go down for the Squaws.
"I thought we were awfully sloppy in the first half. We had seven turnovers in the second period. That's seven chances we didn't have to score and in a close game like this that could be the difference in the game. We tried to get some inside passes there early in the overtime but were late with our passes. We need some more intensity in our practices because lots of time you'll play like you practice. Some of that is my fault but we can't dwell on these last two losses. We just have to look forward," he said.
Fuelling said Leo "did a good job mixing up their defenses. When they went to a zone they really packed it inside. We have to do a better job recognizing defenses."
Entering overtime, the teams swapped baskets by Leo's Sarah Wilder and Bellmont's Payton Schultz for another tie at 44-44. Katie Pannabecker hit one of two charity tosses and when Kaczmarek hit two from the foul line, the Squaws were up 46-45. The Lions got five straight points on baskets from Gary and Wilder and Field's free throw.
The first half was close throughout with the largest lead of the game being five points by Leo at 24-19 and 26-21. A Madison Schultz rebound basket with 39 seconds left in the second period brought the score to 26-23 at the half and when the Squaws opened round round with baskets by the Schultz cousins, BHS suddenly found itself with a 27-26 advantage.
As Leo went 3-16 in the third period, the Squaws managed to go up 34-33 at the end of the period as they outpointed Leo 11-7 in the stanza.
Madison Schultz and Gary of Leo both recorded double doubles on the night with Schultz grabbing 13 rebounds and 12 points while Gary had 15 points and 14 boards to lead both teams. Kaczmarek had 11 points for the Squaws and four steals and rebounds while Payton Schultz had nine points and six rebounds and Allison Gutierrez had eight points. Quinn had five assists and points while Taylor Kuhnle had the other three BHS markers.
In the junior varsity game, Bellmont rallied late in the fourth period but it wasn't quite enough to overcome Leo with the Lions taking a 21-18 victory.
Audrey Schultz had nine points for the Squaws to lead all scorers.
Leo 50, Bellmont 48 (OT)
2PG 3PG FT TP
Stoller 0-1 0-0 0-0 0
Panbckr 1-4 0-0 1-5 3
King 0-2 0-0 0-0 0
Seiss 2-3 0-1 0-0 4
Gary 7-14 0-0 1-3 15
Woodward 1-3 0-0 1-2 3
Field 5-13 0-0 2-5 12
Wilder 5-10 0-0 0-0 10
Pontius 0-0 1-5 0-0 3
Totals 21-50 1-6 5-15 50
2PG 3PG FT TP
Kaczmarek 3-7 1-4 2-4 11
P.Schultz 3-6 0-0 3-4 9
Quinn 1-2 1-3 0-0 5
Gutierrez 3-4 0-0 2-3 8
Williamson 0-0 0-0 0-0 0
M.Schultz 5-11 0-1 2-4 12
Kuhnle 1-3 0-0 1-2 3
Totals 16-37 2-9 10-17 48
Score by Quarters
Leo 16 10 7 9 8 50
Bellmont 13 10 11 8 6 48
Officials: Thom Newhard, Jeff Meeks, Clint Cochran
Rebounds: Leo 30 (Gary 14, Wilder 9), Bellmont 31 (M. Schultz 13, P. Schultz 6)
Assists: Leo 11 (Field 6), Bellmont 11 (Quinn 5, Gutierrez 3)
Steals: Leo 8 (Gary 3, Field 3), Bellmont 7 (Kaczmarek 4)
Blocked Shots: Leo 6 (Gary 3), Bellmont 4 (M. Schultz 3)
Turnovers: Leo 18, Bellmont 18
Team Fouls: Leo 16 (Woodward 5), Bellmont 14
Leo 21, Bellmont 18 (JV)
LEO: Haley Buchanan 1-1-3, Haley Bowers 2-0-5, Katie Bowers 3-2-8, Nikki Butler 2-0-4, Michelle Grush 1-0-2. Totals: 9-3-21.
BELLMONT: Megan Schueler 1-1-3, Erin Engstrom 0-0-0, Brooke Zimmerman 1-0-2, Courtney Scherer 0-0-0, Ivy Settlemeyer 1-0-2, Ashley Piper 0-0-0, Audrey Schultz 3-3-9, Alexa Singleton 1-0-2. Totals: 7-4-18.