MONROE-After his team had coughed up the ball on four straight possessions in the third period which led to 10 straight points for the Adams Central Jets, Bellmont coach Tory Fuelling's message to his Squaws was simple when he called a timeout after AC had cut a 13 point BHS lead to just three.
"Girls you gotta take care of the ball."
That thought was conveyed loud and clear to the Squaws who then went on a 10-0 run of their own and were never seriously challenged thereafter enroute to winning a 57-30 decision over their county rivals.
Bellmont led 25-16 at the half and appeared to be on the path to victory as Payton Schultz and Madison Schultz scored opening baskets in the second half for a 29-16 lead with 6:25 to play. However, just 65 seconds later, the Jets had taken advantage of four straight BHS turnovers (without a single shot at the basket) and took the lead to 29-26 on three-point shots by Olivia Macklin and Alyssa Keller, and a pair of two-pointers by Madison Carroll.
After a brief stoppage for the sermon from Fuelling, the Squaws returned the favor as they outscored AC 14-2 for the rest of the period including treys by Dana Kaczmarek and Mikala Quinn, two buckets from Madison Schultz, two free throws by Kaczmarek and a buzzer-beating bank shot by Quinn for a 43-28 tally.
Bellmont continued to pour gas on their fire in the last stanza holding the Jets scoreless for the last five and a half minutes of the game while adding six consecutive points by Madison Schultz and a final hoop by Alexa Singleton.
At the start of the game, it appeared it was going to be all Adams Central as the Jets completely dominated the first four minutes taking an early 10-2 lead that saw Macklin and Keller hit treys that had the Jets up 8-0 with just under five minutes to play. Another AC drought then occurred as Bellmont stopped AC for scoring for the final four and a half minutes while Kaczmarek's three ball and two free throws from Sara Williamson made it a 10-7 contest.
Bellmont took its first lead of the game early in the second period as Williamson tallied an offensive rebound and then hit Payton Schultz with a nice assist pass for an 11-10 edge. Katie Carroll's basket with 6:34 left was the last AC lead of the game as the Squaws went on a 12-0 tear, an effort that was keyed by two offensive rebound baskets by Taylor Kuhnle and a Kaczmarek trey.
"We started both halves really well but especially there in the second half we didn't communicate well on defense and get out and guard people," noted AC coach Sam Beer, adding that after the Jets had cut the lead to 29-26 "we let Bellmont get an open shot at the basket which they made. We're out there trying to guard 6'1, 6'2 girls with 5'7, 5'8 girls and that made it difficult for us. I'm not using that as an excuse but their size made it tough for us inside."
Beer praised the shooting ability of Kaczmarek as the BHS senior guard hit four of six three-point tries. "We knew she was a good three-point shooter but there were a couple of times we didn't come out on her and gave her a wide open look," he said.
Fuelling and the Squaws were still reeling from a bizarre loss to New Haven Saturday night but the win over the Jets was a positive step forward according to the coach.
"I thought we shot the ball really well tonight and rebounded well. We knew we'd have a height advantage coming into the game (the Squaws had a 27-14 edge with Kaczmarek, Payton Schultz, and Madison Schultz all grabbing five) and that was a key for us. We talked about how the first three to four minutes of the second half were so important and after AC had that run I thought we played pretty well as a team. Taylor and Sara especially came in and played well for us tonight giving us some strong minutes," said Fuelling.
Bellmont put three players in double figures led by Kaczmarek's 16 points. Madison Schultz and Quinn tallied 14 and 10 respectively. Keller was the only AC player in twin digits with 10 points.
In the junior varsity game, Bellmont jumped out to a 20-6 halftime lead and registered a 36-24 triumph over the Jets.
Both Audrey Schultz and Megan Schueler tallied 12 points for the Squaws to lead all scorers and Alexa Singleton put in eight. For Adams Central, Briona Case had eight while Brittany Lotter added six and both Katie Carroll and Abby Busse added four.
Bellmont 57, Adams Central 30 (varsity)
2PG 3PG FT TP
Schueler 0-1 0-0 0-0 0
Zimmerman 0-0 0-0 0-0 0
Kaczmarek 0-3 4-6 4-4 16
P.Schultz 3-11 0-0 0-2 6
Quinn 2-3 2-4 0-0 10
Gutierrez 0-2 0-0 0-0 0
Williamson 1-3 0-0 3-4 5
M.Schultz 6-9 0-0 2-2 14
A.Schultz 0-0 0-0 0-0 0
Kuhnle 2-3 0-0 0-0 4
Singleton 1-1 0-0 0-0 2
Totals 15-36 6-10 9-12 57
2PG 3PG FT TP
Macklin 0-0 2-4 0-0 6
M.Carroll 2-5 0-0 0-0 4
Keller 1-1 2-3 2-3 10
Fiechter 0-2 0-0 0-0 0
Blackburn 1-4 0-4 0-0 2
McDougall 3-5 0-0 0-2 6
Fox 0-3 0-1 0-0 0
K.Carroll 1-1 0-0 0-0 2
Case 0-2 0-0 0-0 0
Spangler 0-0 0-0 0-0 0
Totals 8-23 4-12 2-5 30
Score by Quarters
Squaws 7 18 18 14 57
Jets 10 6 12 2 30
Officials: Bud Wolf, Brett Patrick, Steve Godfroy
Rebounds: AC 14 (Fiechter 4, Keller 3), Bellmont 27 (Kaczmarek 5, M. Schultz 5, P. Schultz 5)
Assists: AC 3, Bellmont 11 (Kuhnle 4, Williamson 3)
Steals: AC 6 (M. Carroll 2, Fiechter 2), Bellmont 8 (Quinn 2, Kuhnle 2, Gutierrez 2)
Blocked Shots: AC 1, Bellmont 3 (M. Schultz 2)
Turnovers: Adams Central 21, Bellmont 14
Team Fouls: Adams Central 20, Bellmont 9
Bellmont 36, Adams Central 24 (JV)
BELLMONT: Megan Schueler 4-4-12, Erin Engstrom 0-0-0, Brooke Zimmerman 0-0-0, Courtney Scherer 1-0-2, Ivy Settlemeyer 1-0-2, Audrey Schultz 6-0-12, Alexa Singleton 4-0-8. Totals: 16-4-36.
ADAMS CENTRAL: Whitney Baller 1-0-2, Briona Case 4-0-8, Abby Busse 2-0-4, Katie Carroll 2-0-4, Brittany Lotter 2-2-6. Totals: 11-2-24.