Created on Monday, 18 February 2013 Written by MATT HAMMOND
Bellefontaine has 20 assists in 71-42 victory
Bellefontaine’s Shaff Gorham puts up a shot over Indian Lake’s Jalon Tuttle during the second half of Saturday’s game at Indian Lake. (EXAMINER PHOTO | MATT HAMMOND)
Bellefontaine’s boys basketball players were in a sharing mood Saturday night.
The Chiefs recorded a season-high 20 assists to slice up host Indian Lake 71-42 in the final regular-season contest for both teams.
Bellefontaine finished the regular season at 12-10. Indian Lake, which had won three out of its last four, dropped to 6-16.
“I thought this was a very unselfish team effort,” said Bellefontaine head coach Henry Stolly. “We had 20 assists and that shows how well the kids shared the ball and found the open man.”
A guard-dominated team, Indian Lake has had issues with bigger opponents. That was again the case Saturday as the Lakers were manhandled inside.
Bellefontaine senior center Logan Mitchell scored a game-high 20 points and had seven rebounds to spark Bellefontaine, which shot 56 percent from the field.
“Our focus has been to establish more of an inside game,” said Stolly. “We felt that tonight there would be some opportunities for Logan inside. He did a good job finishing and the rest of the kids did a good job getting the ball to him.”
The Chiefs outrebounded the Lakers 37-18.
“We were concerned about their big guys and we tried to push them off the block, but to their credit they moved the ball well and did a good job of getting the ball into the post,” said Indian Lake head coach David Starr.
Bellefontaine has been plagued by numerous injuries this season, but appears to be hitting its stride again.
Senior standout Matt Gump, who sat out 11 games with a hand injury, has been working his way back into form and contributed 17 points and four assists against the Lakers.
Max Oyer and Tristin Tillman each had eight points and Shaff Gorham chipped in six for the Chiefs. Oyer also pulled down 10 rebounds.
“We are now getting back to the rotation we envisioned for the start of the season,” said Stolly. “We had to battle some things that were out of our control, but the kids have continued to work hard and we are making progress. We can’t be satisfied, though. We have to keep getting better every day in practice.”
Indian Lake did not have an answer for the Chiefs on Saturday, but Starr said the loss did not diminish the strides the team has made over the last couple weeks.
“Tonight does not take away from what these kids have accomplished this season,” said Starr. “Our biggest thing at this point is consistency. We have to become more consistent in everything we do.”
Bellefontaine led 18-11 after one quarter and then blew the game open in the second quarter by outscoring the Lakers 16-6. That burst gave the Chiefs a 17-point cushion (34-17) at halftime.
“In order to get better, we can’t allow what is happening on offense to dictate how we play on the defensive end,” said Starr. “If you are struggling offensively, you can’t let that carry over to your defense. We had a hard time making shots at times tonight and we allowed our defense to suffer as well.”
Bellefontaine opened the third quarter on a 7-0 run for a 41-17 lead and the Lakers were unable to recover.
Indian Lake’s trio of Jalon Tuttle, Christian Grider and Brennon Lump accounted for all but four of the team’s points.
Lump led the way with 14, Tuttle had 13 and Grider added 11.
In Saturday’s junior varsity game, Bellefontaine won 55-35. Daniel Boy led the Chiefs with 11 points and Zach Newcomb had 14 points for the Lakers.
The Chiefs and Lakers enter sectional tournament play Saturday at Springfield High School. Indian Lake plays Springfield Shawnee at 2 p.m. and Bellefontaine tangles with Urbana at 3:30 p.m.
BELLEFONTAINE 71, INDIAN LAKE 42
Gump 6 3-4 17; A. Gorham 2 0-0 4; Oyer 4 0-0 8; C. Mitchell 2 0-0 4; Kennedy 1 2-2 4; Tillman 3 2-2 8; S. Gorham 2 1-1 6; L. Mitchell 9 2-2 20. Totals: 28 11-13 71.
INDIAN LAKE (6-16)
Tuttle 3 6-6 13; Grider 5 1-2 11; Lump 4 2-2 14; Wurster 1 0-1 2; Teague 1 0-1 2. Totals: 14 9-12 42.
Chiefs 18 16 24 13 — 71
Lakers 11 6 14 11 — 42
Three pointers: Bellefontaine 4 (Gump 2, Oyer, S. Gorham); Indian Lake 5 (Lump 4, Tuttle). Rebounds: Bellefontaine 37 (Oyer 10); Indian Lake 18. Assists: Bellefontaine 20 (Gump 4, A. Gorham 4); Indian Lake 7 (Tuttle 5). Steals: Bellefontaine 11 (Oyer 4); Indian Lake 2. Turnovers: Bellefontaine 8; Indian Lake 12. Team fouls: Bellefontaine 13; Indian Lake 15.