BELLBROOK — Experience immediately showed its worth on opening night for Bellbrook.
Breaking open a tie game short after halftime, the Golden Eagles used a 15-0 run to close out the third quarter and take control of the action for a season-opening 54-41 victory against Beavercreek at home on Friday.
Taylor Scohy led all scorers with 25 points for Bellbrook and Kelley Griffin added 14. The returning starting five for Bellbrook of Olivia Trusty, Ashley Frantz, Alayna Meyer, Scohy and Griffin combined to score all but three of their team’s points.
“Nobody got down, nobody started to complain, everyone just immediately came together,” Bellbrook head coach Jason Tincher said. “When things got tough, there was no griping. There’s none of that with this team. They’re a close-knit group that I think always feels they can get this.”
Beavercreek was led by Lilli Leopard’s 11 and Larkin Eysoldt who scored nine.
Quickly overcoming a small halftime deficit, Eysoldt drained a three-pointer for Beavercreek from well outside the arc to tie the score at 31 early in the third for the Beavers. Bellbrook turned defense into offense afterward, though, and began to push the pace.
After each stop made defensively, Scohy began to get ahead of Beavercreek players rushing back for easy baskets, and also completed several tough plays near the post in scoring the first eight points of the run.
Griffin scored the next four before an and-one play by Olivia Tusty capped off the run and forced a time out call by Beavercreek head coach Aric Seilhamer.
“I probably should have called timeout sooner,” he said. “We were trying to let the kids get the benefit of the doubt if they could grab a rebound, and we gave them too many second chance opportunities. I think our kids at that moment just kind of hit a wall.”
Bellbrook is typically proficient at shooting from long range, but only connected on two first half shots and none in the second half. Tincher said he stressed to his team to figure out ways to get the ball closer to the bucket, and potentially draw more free-throw attempts along the way.
It paid off as Bellbrook had the advantage on two-pointers and free throws with 13 more makes combined than Beavercreek to help keep them at bay down the stretch with the help of long stretches of ball control running through its offense.
“Credit to Bellbrook, they return all five starters and obviously have experience,” Seilhamer said. “It’s a tough one coming in and as a coach I need to do a better job preparing our kids for when the other team gets runs or you need to stand and execute three or four times.”
Bellbrook trailed 17-16 after a back and forth opening quarter littered with turnovers, but gathered themselves in the second. A 7-0 run over close to five minutes put the Golden Eagles up seven, but Beavercreek hung in to cut its deficit at halftime to 28-23.
Both sides shot close to 41 percent from the field in the game.
“Beavercreek is going to win some games,” Tincher said. “They work hard and just need to put some offense together.”
Beavercreek gets set to visit defending state champion Mason in its next game, while Bellbrook stays within the GWOC as it travels to Miamisburg.
Contact Steven Wright at 937-502-4498 and follow on Twitter @Steven_Wright_.