FORT WAYNE — Homestead assured itself of at least a share of the Northeast Hoosier Conference title in girls basketball Friday night belting out an 81-55 victory over the Bellmont Squaws at the Spartans gym.
The win for Homestead moved them to 15-2 on the season and 6-0 in the NHC. Their last conference contest is next weekend against DeKalb (8-7, 3-2) but the Spartans have already defeated pre-season favorite Norwell (15-1, 5-1). Bellmont fell to 1-5 in NHC action and is 7-9 for the year.
Bellmont and Homestead matched shots for the first seven minutes of the game with a 14-14 tie broken by freshman Sydney Buck's three-point shot with 1:13 to play. That keyed Homestead in scoring the final seven points of the first stanza for a 21-14 edge and when they opened round two with five straight points keeping the Squaws scoreless for the first three minutes, they led 26-14.
The three-point shot was Bellmont's friend early in the game as Dana Kaczmarek hit two and Mikala Quinn nailed one in the first period and Allison Gutierrez finally broke the Spartans' scoring streak in the second period with a trey with 5:00 left for a 26-17 game. That was as close as Bellmont would ever get again in the game as when Emily Bley knocked down a bucket, the Squaws trailed in double digits for the duration.
Bellmont coach Tory Fuelling was a man of few words after the game noting "we gave up 40 points in the paints and 17 points from the foul line. That's 57 uncontested points. We didn't move our feet and allowed a lot of easy baskets for them. For a team as good as Homestead is, we just can't do that."
Carman Lowe led the Spartans with 23 points while Bley nailed down 20 and Jena Hamrick had 15. Kaczmarek had a good shooting night for the Squaws hitting 7-14 for 20 points while Allison Gutierrez finished with 11. Bellmont actually outscored Homestead from behind the arc 21-18 a figure made closer when two Homestead reserves connected on treys in the final minute of the game to put the Spartans over the 80 point level.