GARRETT—It was a night to forget for the Bellmont fans who ventured to Garrett High School on Wednesday night to see the Braves battle their third ACAC opponent this season in the Railroaders.
The home team Railroaders came out guns ablazin’ putting the game out of reach early in a 57-28 rout of Bellmont.
Garrett jumped out to an early 7-0 edge on five free throws and an easy basket while the Braves began their shooting woes missing their first nine shot attempts.
“You can search for excuses and say ‘Their shots were falling and ours weren’t’ but we allowed that to affect us early on,” Bellmont coach John Baker noted after the contest.
The Braves had five early fouls called on them in the first quarter seriously straining the team’s normal rotation with both Lance Vergara and Seth King forced to sit with two fouls each. Garrett looked to use their size on the inside with 6’3’’ Joe Martin and 6’7’’ Matt Singleton. Both were effective in the post while the guard play of the Railroaders getting penetration inside led to several easy looks in the first half.
Maverick Birch snatched an offensive rebound with 1:45 left in the quarter but even the putback was not easy as he missed a four-footer, grabbed his own rebound once again before finally sinking the basket plus the foul. He would miss the free throw, then Seth King would make one of two before the end of one but Birch’s lay up was the only field goal of the quarter with Garrett leading 18-5 after one frame.
“They had confidence stepping into good shots, their post guys were screening, sealing and getting open looks which was the complete opposite of us,” explained Baker. “We looked timid inside and took shots just because they were open.”
Bellmont looked to be headed out of their funk at the start of the second period when reserve guard Logan Baker drained a triple from the wing to make it 20-8. Parker Zeser hit a three the next time down the floor and it was 20-11. Bellmont would play even until the five minute mark at 24-15, then Garrett bombarded the Braves with pressure and a fast pace that the visiting team simply could not compete with. The Railroaders ended the half on a 14-1 run to lead 38-16 at the break.
“It started 18-5 but we might as well have been down 30 points looking at our body language,” a frustrated Baker illustrated. “We just looked defeated.”
It was apparent coming out of the locker room as the Railroaders pranced out to their lay-up lines while Bellmont walked quietly to the bench to prepare for the third quarter.
In the third quarter, Garrett held Bellmont to just four points building their lead to 30 at 50-20 after three frames and the reserves took it from there playing most of the fourth quarter.
“They (Garrett) felt good,” observed Baker. “They had guys hitting shots that wouldn’t normally fall but did because they played with confidence and a big lead.”