JAMESTOWN — Persistence, perseverance — and a lot of defense — paid off for the visiting Bellbrook Golden Eagles, during Tuesday night’s 62-50 win in a nonleague boys basketball game at Greeneview High School.
Bellbrook (6-3), which had trailed by as much as 23-9 in the first half, pulled the deficit to within nine points (32-23) by the halftime break. They then outscored the host Greeneview Rams 39-18 the rest of the way.
“We gave up 19 points in the first quarter. That’s a terrible start for us,” said Bellbrook’s Josh Schumacher who helped key the comeback with a game-high 27 points scored. “And then in the second half, we gave up 18 total points. We locked down, and had some guys come off the bench and help to shut down their big guy, Tanner Hudson. Chris Bennett and Alec Campbell did a great job in shutting him down.”
Hudson finished with just two points. Greeneview’s scoring phenom Ethan Bradds finished with a team-high 18 points, but just three of that total came in the second half. Tristan Saunders added 10 Rams points, but was held to just two points in the second half.
Greeneview (4-8) scored six points as a team in the fourth quarter.
“They started moving their feet, containing their man, staying between their man and the basket,” said Bellbrook coach Perry Caldwell of his team’s defensive play. “When we made them work for their scores, instead of giving them easy looks or putting them on the free-throw line — we gave them a lot of easy baskets and a lot of free throws in the first half — my guys turned it around with their defense, then we got some good looks at the hoop ourselves, too.”
The Rams went to the charity stripe 18 times in the first half, converting 13 of those. They hit 7-of-8 tries in the second half. Greeneview coach Kyle Fulk praised Schumacher’s play, along with the Golden Eagles’ defensive performance.
“In the first half, we were very poised and we were able to take care of the ball, but in the second, they were able to speed us up,” Fulk said. “In the second half, we let their pressure get to us. They sped us up, and we started taking the shots that they wanted us to take.
“And then offensively, they did a great job of getting to the hole and of getting their rebounds. … Schumacher did a great job of getting to the hole. He struggled early, but he battled back. He’s a great scorer, a great player.”
Joining Schumacher’s double-figure scoring effort for Bellbrook were teammates Austin Hall (11 points) and Tom Krohn (12).
Schumacher told Caldwell after the game that he planned on shooting 100 free throws before the team’s next practice. He was disappointed for missing five free throws on the night, in a 10-for-15 night from the line.
“He’s our leading scorer, and he’s always trying to improve himself. When he told me that he was going to hit the free throw line to get better, I thought that was great. That’s what you want to hear,” Caldwell said.