BELLBROOK — Perhaps a bit tired of taking lumps themselves, the host Bellbrook Golden Eagles gave out a few in a 49-23 romp Jan. 10 over Southwestern Buckeye League leader Franklin.
Bellbrook (5-8, 3-3 SWBL Southwestern) reeled off a 12-0 run for most of the opening quarter to jump out in front by 12 points before Franklin could score its third. The Golden Eagles led 16-4 after one quarter, then punctuated the team’s attack with a Maren Freudenschuss 3-pointer right before the halftime buzzer to give Bellbrook a 32-13 lead.
Bellbrook combined some staunch in-your-face defense, plenty of rebounding, excellent ball control and some dead-eye shooting from behind the arc to control Franklin (10-3, 8-1 SWBL Southwestern) from the very start.
Playing what their coach terms the ‘toughest schedule Bellbrook’s girls have ever played,’ the Golden Eagles have taken on Division I powers Princeton, Fairfield and Centerville, along with nonleague foes like Toledo Central Catholic (a win), Chaminade Julienne and Wilmington. The team appears to be learning from many of those early season losses.
“It was a great game by our girls tonight. I was really proud of them,” Golden Eagles coach Jason Tincher said. “They put all aspects of the game together tonight. There’s no doubt that we’ve had our share of adversity this year, we’ve definitely had to fight some confidence issues and work on finding our roles this year. We’ve suffered through some close, hard-fought losses. So to beat a team like Franklin, with all their weapons — they’re such a well-coached team, John (Rossi) does such a great job with them — I just can’t say enough about our girls and what they did tonight.”
Freudenschuss hit four threes on the night and finished with a game-high 14 points. Kayla Paul, despite playing with four fouls for much of the second half, also got into double-figure scoring with 12. Eight other Bellbrook teammates combined for 23 points.
Franklin’s Layne Ferrell entered the game ranked second in the SWBL in scoring average with 22.3 points per game. Hounded throughout the contest, Ferrell did not score a field goal. She finished with four points on free throws, all in the first half. Its the first time she’s scored less than double figures since last season’s March 6 postseason loss to … Bellbrook.
The Franklin team had been second in the league in conference scoring average at 60.1 points per game. The last time they were held to fewer than 23 points in a game happened back on Dec. 14, 2013 when they lost at Eaton, 64-14.
“You’ve gotta give credit to Bellbrook. They came out and played very energetic and with a lot of passion,” Franklin coach John Rossi Jr. said. “… Give credit where it is due. They smacked us in the face early on, and we didn’t respond.
“They might’ve had a little revenge factor after our first meeting (a 70-46 Wildcats home win back on Dec. 8). Jason’s kids played hard. … We kinda felt like we knew what Bellbrook was going to do, and I thought we were prepared, but we never executed.”
Rossi said the Wildcats hit one of 19 tries from 3-point range. Brooke Stover led Franklin with six points scored.
“You know, I’m not so sure that we’re as good as we think we might be, or that some of our individual players are as good as they think they might be,” he said.
Bellbrook doesn’t have long to celebrate. They have a 1:30 p.m. game in Germantown against Valley View on Saturday, Jan. 12. Franklin has the weekend off. Their next contest is a Tuesday Jan. 15 nonleague home matchup with Butler County foe Edgewood.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.