Created on Thursday, 14 February 2013 Written by MATT HAMMOND
BHS girls advance in tourney with second win over Lakers in seven days
Bellefontaine’s Sajah Carter passes the ball over the head of Indian Lake’s Leslie Reichert during Wednesday’s Division II sectional tournament game at Tecumseh High School. (EXAMINER PHOTO | MATT HAMMOND)
NEW CARLISLE — A week later, the result was nearly identical.
After beating Indian Lake by 17 points seven days ago, Bellefontaine’s girls basketball team won by 19 in the rematch with its county rival Wednesday night.
The Chiefs rolled to a 50-31 victory in a Division II sectional opener at Tecumseh High School.
“Bellefontaine is a tough matchup for us,” said Indian Lake head coach Tim McMahon. “I thought we did a good job containing them inside, but they hit some big shots from the perimeter.”
With the Lakers focusing on the Chiefs’ inside tandem of senior Whitney Rader and junior Jazmyn Haley, Bellefontaine launched a lethal long-range attack.
The Chiefs, who will play Greenon at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the sectional semifinal round, made 7-of-13 attempts (54 percent) from three-point range.
“When you have girls like Jazmyn and Whitney inside, teams are going to try to take them away,” said Bellefontaine head coach Brian Hogan. “Our perimeter players stepped up and took advantage of their opportunities tonight.”
Senior guard Sajah Carter hit three three-pointers and finished with a game-high 15 points for the Chiefs.
Sophomore guard Brenda Johnson made two three-pointers and had eight points, while Regan Price had seven points and Jazmyn Haley and Rader added six apiece.
“Sajah did a good job stepping up with her scoring,” said Hogan. “I thought Regan did a good job running the offense and taking care of the ball, and Brenda had a really nice game, too.”
The Lakers were unable to get all of their offensive weapons going. Standout senior forward Mikaela Oyer had 12 points and junior guard Haley Boberg recorded 11 points, but the rest of the team combined for just eight points.
“We were trying to force things against their zone,” said McMahon. “They did a good job against Oyer in the first half. We did a better job getting the ball to her in the second half, but it just wasn’t enough.”
The turning point of the game occurred late in the first half.
Indian Lake whittled down a nine-point deficit to one after Sydney Miller capped an 8-0 run with a three-pointer with 1:17 remaining until halftime.
But Bellefontaine countered with a spurt of its own. Carter knocked down a three and Jazmyn Haley and Price each hit buckets to give Bellefontaine an eight-point lead (23-15) at halftime.
“I thought that was a huge stretch,” said Hogan. “Indian Lake had stolen the momentum. To answer with a run like that just before halftime made a big difference.”
The Chiefs carried their momentum over to the second half. They outscored the Lakers 10-2 over the first four minutes of the third quarter to open up a 16-point cushion (33-17).
Bellefontaine led by 18 points (43-25) at the end of the third quarter and the lead grew as high as 22 points in the final quarter.
At 15-8, Bellefontaine continues to add to its impressive turnaround. The Chiefs have the most wins in a season since the 1997 squad went 23-1.
“Our seniors don’t want their careers to end,” said Hogan. “We tell them that there is no tomorrow. They have picked up their play and picked up their intensity. It is nice to see them playing the way they are right now.”
The Chiefs now look to get some revenge over Greenon. The Knights (14-7) defeated Bellefontaine 50-46 in a regular-season game Dec. 5.
“Greenon has won a lot of games,” said Hogan. “We just have to take care of us and use our size to our advantage. If we do that, it should be a good battle Tuesday.”
Indian Lake finishes the season with a 10-13 record.
BELLEFONTAINE 50INDIAN LAKE 31
INDIAN LAKE (10-13)
Boberg 4 0-1 11; Miller 3 0-0 7; Chismar 0 1-2 1; Oyer 2 8-10 12. Totals: 9 9-13 31.
Cooper 0 1-2 1; Hunt 1 0-0 3; Carter 5 2-2 15; Price 3 0-0 7; K. Haley 2 0-0 4; Johnson 2 2-2 8; J. Haley 3 0-0 6; Rader 2 2-2 6. Totals: 18 7-8 50.
Lakers 7 8 10 6 — 31
Chiefs 9 14 20 7 — 50
Three pointers: Indian Lake 4 (Boberg 3, Miller); Bellefontaine 7 (Carter 3, Johnson 2, Hunt, Price). Turnovers: Indian Lake 16; Bellefontaine 10. Team fouls: Indian Lake 12; Bellefontaine 14.