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Chiefs overcome sluggish first half to bag Jaguars

Bellefontaine shook off a lackluster first half with a spirited second half to slip past visiting Wellington School on Thursday.

BHSWellington

Bellefontaine’s A.J. Gorham puts up a shot during the first half of Thursday’s game against Wellington School. (EXAMINER PHOTO | MATT HAMMOND)

The Chiefs trailed 20-18 at halftime, but jumped ahead in the third quarter and led the rest of the way for a 40-35 non-league win.

Bellefontaine is now 9-7 on the season.

“We didn’t play with a lot of energy in the first half,” said Bellefontaine head coach Henry Stolly. “They beat us to a lot of loose balls and they pretty much did whatever they wanted to do offensively. We played much better in the second half.”

Bellefontaine saw the return of Matt Gump and A.J. Gorham from injuries. Gump got just a few minutes in the first half, while Gorham scored four points in his time on the floor.

“Having those two guys back gives us more depth,” said Stolly. “A.J. brings good quickness and he is a good passer. Matt is still sore, but he is coming along. We are going to take it one game at a time with him.”

Bellefontaine struggled against the Jaguars’ zone defense in the first half. The Chiefs were able to do a better job of getting the ball to the basket over the final two periods.

The Chiefs outscored Wellington 11-4 in the third quarter for a 29-24 lead.

Bellefontaine upped its lead to 10 points (36-26) with 5:27 remaining in the game.

Wellington (8-8) responded with seven straight points to climb within three at 36-33.

The Chiefs fought off the Jaguars’ rally with some clutch foul shooting from senior center Logan Mitchell. He made 4-of-4 free throws in the final 1:11 to ice the win.

“It was nice to see Logan step up and hit some big free throws for us,” said Stolly. “Logan is one of our senior leaders and that is what we expect out of our seniors.”

Bellefontaine shot 36 percent from the field.

“We were not as locked in and focused as I would have liked,” said Stolly. “We definitely have to put forth a better effort (tonight) at Tippecanoe.”

Logan Mitchell had eight points and eight rebounds to spark the Chiefs. Tristin Tillman scored eight points and Jake Kennedy added six points.

Bellefontaine won the junior varsity game 52-27. Caleb Mitchell led the Chiefs with 13 points and Daniel Boy added 12 points.

BELLEFONTAINE 40WELLINGTON 35

WELLINGTON (8-8)

Sharp 2 2-2 6; Gordon-Haynes 2 0-0 5; Robinson 4 3-4 12; Dial 5 0-2 10; Brisk 1 0-0 2. Totals: 14 5-8 35.

BELLEFONTAINE (9-7)

A. Gorham 2 0-1 4; Oyer 1 1-2 3; C. Mitchell 0 4-4 4; Kennedy 2 1-3 6; Tillman 3 1-1 8; Wisner 2 0-0 4; S. Gorham 1 0-0 3; L. Mitchell 2 4-4 8. Totals: 13 11-15 40.

Jaguars    9    11    4    11      —     35

Chiefs    11    7    11    11    —    40

Three pointers: Wellington 2 (Gordon-Haynes, Robinson); Bellefontaine 3 (Kennedy, Tillman, S. Gorham). Rebounds: Bellefontaine 20 (L. Mitchell 8). Assists: Bellefontaine 9. Steals: Bellefontaine 7. Turnovers: Bellefontaine 8. Team fouls: Wellington 11; Bellefontaine 6.

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