Norwell motored to Decatur Tuesday night and ignored the cold weather outside as they blistered the nets hitting 66.7 percent of their shots from the field on 28-42 (21-29 from two and 7-13 from three) to mercifully end a winless season for the Bellmont Squaws by a lopsided 81-28 tally in the opening game of the IHSAA class 3A sectional 23.
Ranked 12th in the latest ICGSA class 3A poll, Norwell trailed only once in the game Monday and that was after Bellmont's Courtney Scherer, the lone senior of the BHS team, hit a jumper 51 seconds into the game for a 2-0 lead.
Norwell then rolled up the next 11 points of the contest after taking the lead for good at 3-2 on a Kelsey Beer trey with 6:46 to play.
The Squaws just couldn't control the pounding down the middle of the Norwell offense. It seemed as though if they weren't converting a field goal, the Knights were camped at the foul line as they were 18-26 on the night from the line while the Squaws could connect on just 2-7 with three misses coming on the front end of one-and-one situations.
The 17-4 Knights had 11 different players score in the game led by sophomores Mackenzie Sawyer and Stephanie Conrad with 18 and 16 points respectively. The pair was especially effective from two-point land connecting on a combined 10-12 shots and Sawyer added three treys (Norwell outpointed Bellmont 21-0 from behind the arc).
The hot-shooting Norwell team was well over 50 percent from the field in every period starting out 8-12 in round one, 8-13 in the second stanza, 5-7 in the third and ended up 7-10 in the last eight minutes. Bellmont was 9-20 in the middle two periods combined but shot a cold 4-21 in the first and four quarters including 1-8 in the fourth.