Created on Wednesday, 09 January 2013 Written by MATT HAMMOND
Bellefontaine slips to Kenton 54-51
Bellefontaine’s Logan Mitchell goes the to basket in front of Kenton’s Grant Sherman, left, and Noah Furbush during Tuesday’s game in Kenton. (EXAMINER PHOTO | MATT HAMMOND)
KENTON — It was the same story for Bellefontaine’s boys basketball team here Tuesday. A scrappy effort, but the Chiefs came up short.
Bellefontaine suffered its third straight three-point loss as host Kenton pulled ahead in the fourth quarter and held on for a 54-51 victory in a non-league contest.
The Chiefs fall to 5-5, while the Wildcats move to 8-3.
“We have to execute better when the pressure is on,” said Bellefontaine head coach Henry Stolly. “Until our young team gets over that hump, we are not going to have success. It came down to a couple of plays here and there, and we just didn’t get it done.”
Bellefontaine led 42-40 entering the fourth quarter. Kenton took a 44-43 lead with 6:02 left in the game to move in front for the first time since early in the first quarter.
After a Bellefontaine free throw to tie the score, the Wildcats scored four straight points and never trailed again.
Bellefontaine finished with nine turnovers, four of them coming in the fourth quarter.
“We had some critical turnovers in the last few minutes and that really hurt us,” said Stolly. “That kind of zapped our momentum. I am proud of our kids and I am proud of the effort, but we have to find a way to execute at the end of games.”
Getting so close to tasting victory but watching it slip away for the third time in five days was a tough pill to swallow for the Chiefs, but their head coach said they can learn a lesson from the narrow losses.
“It’s tough, but we have to learn from these types of games and draw from these situations in the future,” said Stolly.
A Kenton three-pointer at the first-quarter buzzer deadlocked the score at 12-12.
Bellefontaine was five points better in the second quarter to grab a five-point lead (28-23) at halftime.
The Chiefs still had a five-point cushion (41-36) with 1:58 remaining in the third quarter, but Kenton was able to cut the lead to two at the end of the stanza.
Helping fuel Kenton’s comeback was junior forward Noah Furbush. The physical Furbush scored 12 of his 13 points after halftime.
“Furbush was probably the best athlete on the court and we knew he would come to life in the second half,” said Stolly. “He definitely gave them a spark.”
Bellefontaine was led by the guard tandem of sophomore Jake Kennedy and junior A.J. Gorham.
Kennedy scored a game-high 20 points and Gorham contributed 13 points.
Max Oyer chipped in five points for the Chiefs, who shot a respectable 44 percent from the field.
Bellefontaine’s freshman and junior varsity teams were victorious over the Wildcats on Tuesday.
The freshman Chiefs won 46-19. Andrew Mitchell was the high scorer with 12 points.
In the junior varsity game, Bellefontaine rolled to a 60-22 win. Caleb Mitchell had 12 points and Trey Price and Daniel Boy added 10 each.
Bellefontaine returns to action Friday at home against Stebbins in a Central Buckeye Conference Kenton Trail division game.
KENTON 54, BELLEFONTAINE 51
A. Gorham 5 0-1 13; Oyer 0 5-6 5; C. Mitchell 0 1-2 1; Kennedy 7 2-2 20; Tillman 1 0-0 2; Wisner 2 0-0 4; S. Gorham 1 0-0 3; L. Mitchell 1 1-2 3. Totals: 17 9-13 51.
Halsey 1 2-2 4; Sherman 3 3-4 9; Downing 1 2-3 4; Bahr 3 0-0 7; Blackford 4 3-3 12; Furbush 5 3-6 13; Phillips 2 1-1 5. Totals: 19 14-19 54.
Chiefs 12 16 14 9 — 51
Wildcats 12 11 17 14 — 54
Three pointers: Bellefontaine 8 (Kennedy 4, A. Gorham 3, S. Gorham); Kenton 2 (Bahr, Blackford). Rebounds: Bellefontaine 22. Assists: Bellefontaine 9. Steals: Bellefontaine 3. Turnovers: Bellefontaine 9. Team fouls: Bellefontaine 14; Kenton 15.