Post and Mail photo / Nicole Ott
Brandon Gay drives around Bellmontâ€™s strong defensive pressure Saturday at home.
COLUMBIA CITY â€” Bell-montâ€™s boys basketball team took nearly the same approach Saturday at Columbia City as the girls used Friday against the Lady Eagles â€” a low-possession, low-scoring ball game. Unfortunately for the Braves, they lost 47-38 like the girls did Friday in Decatur.
Columbia City pulled out to a 5-0 lead one minute into the game with a bucket by Daniel Woll in the first possession and a 3-point play by senior Austin Paul.
With a 10-10 tie heading into the second quarter, Bellmont found another offensive threat in Maverick Birch, who hit a 3-pointer less than a minute into the stanza to give the Braves their first â€” and only â€” lead of the game, 13-10. Another three gave the visitors their biggest lead of the game at six.
The lead was short lived however, as Columbia City rallied to outscore Bellmont 16-8 in the final five minutes of the half. Eagle Drew Burnsworth hit back-to-back 3-pointers followed by a traditional 3-point play by Derek Hinen with 2.7 seconds left to make the score 26-23.
The teams only scored a combined 11 points in the third quarter as both teams put in a lot of effort on the defensive end.
A 29-29 score held until 0.1 seconds left in the third, when Columbia Cityâ€™s Brandon Gay was fouled. Gay hit both free throws for his only points of the game. He also chipped in a steal and an assist for the Eagles.
Bellmont's Nick Fuelling hit a field goal with two minutes left in the game to cut Columbia Cityâ€™s lead to five, but the Eagles answered with five unanswered points, putting the game out of reach.
Columbia Cityâ€™s Matt Rethlake finished the game with a lay-up to make the score 47-38. Woll had 11 points and eight rebounds for the Eagles, followed by Derek Hinen with 10.
One of Columbia Cityâ€™s stand-out scorers, Drew Benedict, finished the game with just five points. But Coach Chris Benedict said his son doesnâ€™t care how many points he scores, as long as the team wins.
â€śWeâ€™re getting a lot of contributions from a lot of different guys,â€ť Benedict said. â€śHis biggest concern is helping the team win. They (Braves) were face-guarding him and it made it difficult for him to get a shot off.â€ť
Columbia City improved to 9-2 and hosts Homestead Friday.
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