It was not a scorer's game at the Teepee on Tuesday night as the Bellmont Squaws hosted Concordia Lutheran in their season opener losing 42-25.
By the end of the first quarter, it definitely appeared to be the first game of the season for both squads as Bellmont led 3-2 after the frame. Audrey Schultz' three-point play off of an offensive rebound with 3:40 left put the Squaws on the board for the first time as she was slapped on the arm putting the lay-up back in.
The Squaws struck first in the second quarter to take a 5-2 lead on a Bailey Christlieb jumper but the Lady Cadets would tie the score at 5-5 after sinking one free throw each on three consecutive trips to the line.
With the two free throws from Taylor Sparks the only points in the first quarter for Concordia, it was not until the 5:05 mark of the second quarter that the Squaws would forfeit the Cadets' first field goal which gave them a 7-6 lead.
"Defensively I thought it was the best effort I've seen in about two years for this program," BHS coach Andy Heim praised after the game. "We gave up some easy ones in the second half but as a whole we played really well on defense."
Bellmont would take their final lead of the game at 8-7 on two Courtney Scherer free throws but then the Cadets went on a 9-2 run to end the half including a triple by senior Olivia Hahn who led all scores on the night with 12.
Bellmont trailed the Lady Cadets only 16-10 at the half but were outscored by the visitors 26-15 in the second half. After turning the ball over 10 times in the first half, the Squaws coughed up the ball another 14 times in the second half. The difference for Bellmont in the second half came down to the amount of points Concordia managed off of the costly turnovers.
The Cadets' Dejour Young scored eight of her 10 points in the second half and all were on fast break lay-ups. Concordia managed 18 steals in the game and Young tallied six of them.
The turnovers and lack of ball handling for Bellmont cost them plenty of shot attempts at the basket leading to empty possessions. The Squaws' leading scorer returning from last year's squad, Taylor Kuhnle, managed just five points in the game including a meaningless three-pointer late in the fourth quarter.
"We have to be able to handle the pressure and give her the ball," noted Heim. "We need to make better passes and make better decisions. It was nothing they did. They just played us straight man and we couldn't get her the ball."
Bellmont's post presence also suffered because of the TOs as the Schultz duo of Audrey and Devon managed just seven points between the two of them (Audrey with five). Coach Heim attributed the lack of post play to the absence of good execution from the guards.