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Chiefs find a spark, end their losing streak

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LOGAN MITCHELL

Career night from Logan Mitchell fuels 60-47 win over Indians

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Bellefontaine’s Jake Kennedy lofts a shot toward the basket during the first half of Friday’s game against Stebbins. (EXAMINER PHOTO | MATT HAMMOND)

A blast from the past helped energize the Bellefontaine boys basketball team Friday.

On the night in which the 40th anniversary of the 1973 state Final Four team was celebrated, the Chiefs used a spirited effort to beat Stebbins 60-47 in a Central Buckeye Conference Kenton Trail division basketball game.

Bellefontaine halted its three-game losing streak with the win. The Chiefs are now 6-5 overall and 2-3 in league play. The Indians fall to 3-9, 0-5.

“This was a very important game for us,” said Bellefontaine head coach Henry Stolly. “We were coming off a very disappointing loss on Tuesday against Kenton and we really needed a win like this. This really helps with our psyche and our confidence.”

Bellefontaine had to dodge another shot of adversity against the Indians. Junior guard A.J. Gorham, who has been a big spark of late, learned he broke a bone in his hand earlier in the day. He will be out four to six weeks.

The Chiefs had already been playing without senior guard Matt Gump, who also has a broken hand and is sidelined for several weeks.

“I am really proud of the kids tonight for their effort and their focus,” said Stolly. “It was tough to find out about A.J. That is another starter out for us, but our kids rallied around that tonight and came together.”

It was a team effort as everyone that played contributed in the win. Senior post player Logan Mitchell scored a career-high 19 points and pulled down six rebounds to lead a balanced Chieftain attack.

“Logan Mitchell did a great job stepping up and having a career game tonight,” said Stolly.

Max Oyer had 12 points and nine rebounds, Tristin Tillman tallied 12 points and six assists, Jake Kennedy had seven points and Brett Wisner chipped in six points for Bellefontaine.

Tillman took over full control of the point guard duties with Gump and Gorham both being out.

“We knew they would pressure Tristin, but he handled it well,” said Stolly. “Tristin has to be our floor general and he did a good job for us.”

Bellefontaine never trailed. The Chiefs led 19-7 after one quarter and 31-17 at halftime.

The second half was more of the same. Stebbins closed within nine points on two occasions, but did not get any closer.

Bellefontaine shot a blistering 61 percent (20-of-33) from the field.

The Indians had no success containing Bellefontaine inside as Mitchell and Oyer dominated around the basket.

“We felt like we could get the ball into the block and do some damage inside,” said Stolly. “Logan, Max and Brett played big for us tonight.”

Malik Thurman led the Indians with 15 points.

Bellefontaine also captured comfortable wins in the junior varsity and freshman games. The freshman squad won 43-22. Lane Wisner had 13 points and Jacob Rogan added 12 for the Chiefs.

In the junior varsity contest, Bellefontaine won 42-34. Dorion Hughes led Bellefontaine with 15 points.

1973team

Members of the 1973 Bellefontaine boys basketball team that advanced to the state Final Four were recognized before Friday’s game against Stebbins. The squad is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Players in attendance were Keith Ross, Tom Marine, George Smith, Bobby Henry, Dallas Williams, Dave Short and Alvin Warner. Also on hand were Karen Collins, wife of the team’s late coach Will Collins, assistant coach Charlie Rader, team statistician Tina Smith Houchin and cheerleaders Pam Bickham Clark, Deb Diener Baker, Connie Wilkins Dearwester, Beth Belser Harman, Bonnie Campbell Pattison and Beth Maier Christian. A story about the 1973 team and its magical tournament run will be included in the Examiner next week. (EXAMINER PHOTO | MATT HAMMOND)

Before Friday’s varsity game, a large contingent from the 1973 squad was recognized at center court. Players in attendance were Keith Ross, Tom Marine, George Smith, Bobby Henry, Dallas Williams, Dave Short and Alvin Warner. Also on hand were Karen Collins, wife of the team’s late coach Will Collins, assistant coach Charlie Rader, team statistician Tina Smith Houchin and cheerleaders Pam Bickham Clark, Deb Diener Baker, Connie Wilkins Dearwester, Beth Belser Harman, Bonnie Campbell Pattison and Beth Maier Christian. A story about the 1973 team and its magical tournament run will be included in the Examiner next week.

BELLEFONTAINE 60  STEBBINS 47

STEBBINS (3-9, 0-5)

West 4 1-1 10; Thurman 6 3-5 15; Collins 1 0-0 3; Monagham 1 0-0 2; Lucas 4 0-0 9; Schock 1 0-0 2; Brumfield 2 0-0 4; Thomas 1 0-0 2. Totals: 20 4-7 47.

BELLEFONTAINE (6-5, 2-3)

Oyer 4 4-8 12; C. Mitchell 2 0-0 4; Kennedy 2 2-3 7; Tillman 4 4-4 12; Wisner 2 2-2 6; L. Mitchell 7 5-7 19. Totals: 21 17-24 60.

Indians    7    10    14    16      —     47

Chiefs    19    12    14    15    —    60

Three pointers: Stebbins 3 (West, Collins, Monagham); Bellefontaine 1 (Kennedy). Rebounds: Bellefontaine 30 (Oyer 9). Assists: Bellefontaine 13 (Tillman 6). Steals: Bellefontaine 3. Turnovers: Bellefontaine 11. Team fouls: Stebbins 18; Bellefontaine 5.

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