Turnovers stunt Braves in 45-64 loss to Northrop

Staff Writer

     It’s not that we lost. It’s not that we lost, it’s how and why we lost.” 

     The towering Northrop Bruins ran a full court trap on the Braves through the entire game, keeping Bellmont away from the post and forcing turnovers.

     Head coach Jonathan Fuelling estimated that his team made 26 turnovers, not all of them being forced.

     Aaron Lehrman started the scoring off and earned six of the Braves’ 10 first period points. Two freethrows and a field goal for Kade Fuelling put the home team up 10-9 after eight minutes.

     Lehrman, Kade and Jordan Fuelling are 6’4 and able to stand tall against many of their opponents. In the second period, 6’8 Sydney Curry came off the bench.

     The full court press caused many Bellmont turnovers, forcing the Braves to rely on longer, more accurate passes instead of allowing Payton Boyd and Brady Manis to drive down the court.

     When the Braves could get close to scoring range, they then faced another obstacle; Curry and fellow senior Adanis Suttle, 6’7, 

     Manis was able to get the ball to Kade or Lehrman on several trips, but scoring over the Bruins was difficult.

     On defense, Lehrman and Jordan lined up against the big men.

     “We were obviously  going to have someone with him [Curry] at all times.”

      Jordan fell and slid across the baseline, picking up a foul on the way, to keep a Bruin from dunking over his team.

     A big 26 point second period for Northrop sent tremors through the Teepee and opened a gap between the teams. Kade went to the foul line and made three of his four shots, but the 12 points in the period were far from enough.

     “We committed so many turnovers. Obviously when they [Northrop] speed you up,  that’s what they want you to do,” coach Fuelling added after the game. “We had a lot of those that were unforced, turnovers because we were playing on our heels.”

     Fuelling, a math teacher, often brings statistics into his locker room. He explained that the 26 turnovers are shots the Braves don’t get to take. Fuelling puts it this way.

     “Let’s say we get half of those and take 13 shots. If we make less than our average and score six times, that’s 12 points.”

     He continued, explaining that those turnovers directly lead to shots for the opponent. “You just created 26 more possessions for them. They’re a great team, they are so good. I’m not saying if we took those shots we would win, but it comes back to how we lost.”

     Northrop won the third period 18-11. In the third period, Bellmont missed five of its six free throws. 

     The final eight minutes resembled the first 24. Tyler James made the first and only Bellmont three-pointer. The Bruins recorded eight on the night. Bellmont’s big three each scored in the paint once, and Northrop walked away with the win.

     Bellmont is now 11-7, 3-4 in the NE8, and have won five of its last 10 games.

     They don’t play again until Friday night at Bluffton, so coach Fuelling has time to work with his team.

     “Some of guys continue to want to do their own things sometimes and it’s frustrating. We get guys who choose to go to the wrong spots. Monday we’ll get some rest, then focus on Bluffton and Bishop Luers.”

     Luers is potentially a Sectional matchup for the Braves, just a week and some change after Bellmont plays there Saturday.



BHS: 10 12 11 12 - 45

NHS: 9 26 18 11 - 64


BHS: Manis 1 0 1/2 3; Tyler James 0 1 0/0 3; Lehrman 7 0 0/5 14; Kade Fuelling 5 0 9/12 19; Jordan Fuelling 3 0 0/1 6.