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Chiefs pounce on Cougars for 39-22 win

Coming off a meager 24-point effort in a loss to Urbana on Tuesday, Bellefontaine got everyone involved offensively to bounce back against Kenton Ridge on Friday.

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Bellefontaine’s Caleb Mitchell puts up a shot against a pair of Kenton Ridge defenders during Friday’s home game at Bellefontaine. (EXAMINER PHOTO | MATT HAMMOND)

The Chiefs did not have a player reach double digits in scoring, but six players scored at least five points in a 39-22 victory over the visiting Cougars in a Central Buckeye Conference Kenton Trail division boys basketball game.

The win ends a two-game losing streak for Bellefontaine, which improves to 8-7 overall and 3-4 in league play.

“It was good to get back on track tonight,” said Bellefontaine head coach Henry Stolly. “We started a little slow, but our kids kept their composure and stuck to our game plan.”

Kenton Ridge grabbed an 8-4 lead seven minutes into the game, but scored only 14 points the rest of the way.

Bellefontaine started out in a man-to-man defense, but then switched to a zone. Kenton Ridge was unable to solve it.

“We were moving the ball pretty well early in the game, but then from late in the second quarter and on we took quick shots and had a lot of turnovers,” said Kenton Ridge head coach Kris Spriggs. “You have to give Bellefontaine some credit for that. It was good defense on their part.”

The Chiefs outscored the Cougars 14-4 in the second quarter to turn a one-point deficit into a nine-point advantage (21-12) at halftime.

“We switched up our defenses and that seemed to give us a spark,” said Stolly. “We were able to do some good things defensively and that picked up our offense.”

Bellefontaine refused to let the Cougars get back into the game in the second half.

The Chiefs, who shot 39 percent from the field, pushed their lead to 16 points (33-17) at the end of the third quarter and led by as many as 21 points in the final period.

“We just didn’t play well offensively,” said Spriggs. “When you hold a team to 39 points you feel like you have a pretty good chance to win, but we missed way too many shots. We were 4-of-21 in the second half.”

Logan Mitchell had a team-high eight points for the Chiefs. Tristin Tillman tallied seven points, seven steals and three assists, Jake Kennedy had seven points and Max Oyer, Caleb Mitchell and Brett Wisner contributed five points apiece.

Oyer also had nine rebounds.

Stolly was encouraged by the showing from Caleb Mitchell. The sophomore forward has been hampered by a foot injury, but showed signs of the player who turned in a standout freshman season last year.

“With Logan Mitchell inside and with his brother Caleb coming along, opponents are going to have to respect us on the block,” said Stolly. “That should allow our perimeter game to open up.”

Nick Lacey and Chase Black each had nine points for the Cougars. The rest of the team combined for only four points.

It was a clean sweep for Bellefontaine as the junior varsity and freshman teams won as well Friday.

The reserve squad pulled out a 40-39 win over the Cougars. Dorion Hughes had 11 points and Daniel Boy scored 10 for the Chiefs.

In the freshman contest, Bellefontaine recorded a 42-30 victory. Andrew Mitchell led the Chiefs with 14 points.

Bellefontaine returns to action Thursday at home against The Wellington School.

BELLEFONTAINE 39 KENTON RIDGE 22

KENTON RIDGE (6-9, 1-6)

Goodfellow 1 0-0 2; Black 4 1-1 9; Colvin 1 0-0 2; Lacey 4 1-2 9. Totals: 10 2-3 22.

BELLEFONTAINE (7-6, 3-4)

Oyer 2 1-3 5; C. Mitchell 2 1-2 5; Kennedy 2 3-6 7; Tillman 3 1-1 7; Wisner 2 1-2 5; S. Gorham 1 0-0 2; L. Mitchell 3 2-2 8. Totals: 15 9-16 39.

Cougars    8    4    5    5      —     22

Chiefs    7    14    12    6    —    39

Three pointers: Bellefontaine 0; Kenton Ridge 0. Rebounds: Bellefontaine 28 (Oyer 9). Assists: Bellefontaine 6 (Tillman 3). Steals: Bellefontaine 11 (Tillman 7). Turnovers: Bellefontaine 12; Kenton Ridge 13. Team fouls: Kenton Ridge 13; Bellefontaine 8.

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