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First-half three-point barrage propels Cardinals past Chiefs

Facing a size disadvantage inside, Triad needed to shoot the ball well from the outside to have a chance against Bellefontaine on Wednesday.


Triad’s Jenna Welty goes up for a layup in front of Bellefontaine’s Julia Hunt during Wednesday’s game at Bellefontaine High School. (EXAMINER PHOTO | MATT HAMMOND)

The Cardinals accomplished their game plan, hitting seven three-point shots in the first half en route to a 60-52 win over the host Chiefs in a non-league girls basketball game.

“We don’t have much of an inside presence, especially against a team like Bellefontaine that has (Whitney) Rader and (Jazmyn) Haley in there,” said Triad head coach Jason Malone. “We knew we were not going to just be able to force the ball inside, so it was important to knock down those outside shots.”

Triad’s Dayna Ober hit three three-pointers, Anna McKenzie had two and Jenna Welty and Jenna Ober each had one in the first half as the visitors took a 36-25 lead at the intermission.

The Cardinals found a lot of open space to shoot on the perimeter against Bellefontaine’s zone defense.

“Maybe we stayed in one defense too long, and that’s on me,” said Bellefontaine head coach Brian Hogan. “We just have to get better.”

Triad improved to 10-4 with the win. The loss for Bellefontaine (10-5) snapped a four-game winning streak.

Playing its fourth game in seven days, Bellefontaine looked sluggish against the scrappy Cardinals.

“I thought we were tired at times, but I told the girls that if they want to make a long tournament run you are going to have games like this,” said Hogan. “This is a lesson we have to learn from.”

Bellefontaine switched to man-to-man defense and the second half and did not allow a three-point basket over the last two quarters, but Triad was able to find success on cuts to the basket.

The Cardinals outscored the Chiefs 14-6 in the third quarter to push their lead to 19 points (50-31).

“We were able to make some plays on backdoor cuts against their man defense in the second half,” said Malone.

Bellefontaine made a late charge, going on a 21-8 run to cut the Triad lead to six points (58-52) with 35 seconds remaining.

However, it was not enough. Dayna Ober hit two free throws with 20 seconds left and Bellefontaine did not score another point as the Cardinals held on.

“Give Triad credit,” said Hogan. “They worked hard tonight. We just couldn’t adjust to what they were doing.”

Triad had three players in double digits. McKenzie and Dayna Ober scored 15 points each and Faith Orecchio had 12.

Also for the Cardinals, Nicole Simonelli had nine points and Welty chipped in five.

Jazmyn Haley scored a game-high 18 points for Bellefontaine, but she was the lone Chieftain in double figures.

Sajah Carter contributed nine points, Julia Hunt had eight points and Kameren Haley and Whitney Rader scored six points apiece for the Chiefs.

In the junior varsity game, Bellefontaine won 43-30. Ashley Artis led the Chiefs with 19 points and Georgia Davis led Triad with eight points.

The Chiefs are back in action Saturday at Kenton Ridge. Triad plays at Northeastern next Thursday.


TRIAD (10-4)

J. Ober 1 1-3 4; D. Ober 4 4-5 15; McKenzie 5 3-3 15; Simonelli 4 1-2 9; Orecchio 5 2-2 12; Welty 2 0-0 5. Totals: 21 11-15 60.


Hunt 3 0-0 8; Carter 4 0-2 9; K. Haley 3 0-0 6; Johnson 2 0-0 5; J. Haley 6 6-7 18; Rader 2 2-2 6. Totals: 20 8-11 52.

Cardinals    16    20    14    10      —     60

Chiefs    10    15    6    21    —    52

Three pointers: Triad 7 (D. Ober 3, McKenzie 2, J. Ober, Welty); Bellefontaine 4 (Hunt 2, Carter, Johnson). Team fouls: Triad 10; Bellefontaine 6.

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