BELLBROOK — Bellbrook swatted Clinton-Massie away at every turn Tuesday, holding off the Falcons for a 49-44 victory.
The Falcons (1-15) never trailed by more than eight points and were within a possession of tying or taking the lead on 11 possessions in the second half.
Only on one occasion did it get a leg up on Bellbrook, 32-31 with 1:12 left in third quarter after an 8-0 spurt thanks to six Jordan Redman points and a Carter Euton bucket. The run included a scoreless drought of four minutes by both teams that kept the score at 31-30.
Massie’s last opportunity to tie or take the lead came with a little more than two minutes left the game. After Tate Olberding, the Falcons’ leading scorer with 15 points, pulled his squad to within 41-38, Massie forced a Bellbrook turnover. CM missed the shot, and Bellbrook tied up the rebound with the possession arrow heading its way.
The Eagles (8-8) held off the Falcons down the stretch with free throws plus a run out bucket by Gabe Pavlak.
“These kids continue working hard for four quarters. You look up at the clock in the last seconds and I’m thinking we don’t even have two starters,” CM coach Todd Cook said. “We find ourselves every night competing enough to be in the ballgame and having a chance to win. It’s just those few possessions we don’t get that extra box out and they kick the ball out for a three, or we turn the ball over and they get an easy layup. We’re not executing around the basket. We’re getting many opportunities in the paint and we’re missing all kinds of shots.
“It’s the small mistakes we’re making throughout the game that give them a little lead, and we can’t seem to get over that hump.”
Bellbrook’s first lead of evening came on a buzzer-beating three at the end of the opening period.
The teams matched each other behind the arc to start the second quarter, trading the lead six times with five of those coming courtesy of bombs. The last one ignited a 9-0 Bellbrook run that put the Eagles up 22-14 midway through the quarter.
Jan 28, 2020
@Bellbrook High School
Bellbrook 49 Clinton-Massie 44
(44) CLINTON-MASSIE (fg-ft-tp) Euton 2-1-6, Ireland 1-1-4, Olberding 7-1-15, Baker 3-1-7, Meyers 1-0-3, Redman 3-3-9. Total 17-7-44. 3-point goals: 3 (Euton, Ireland, Meyers). FTM-FTA 7-12, 58 percent.
(49) BELLBROOK (fg-ft-tp) Chew 6-1-16, Lakins 1-3-5, Gedeon 0-2-2, Ault 3-0-8, Pavlak 5-2-12, Montgomery 0-0-0, Ajing 0-0-0, Urbaniak 2-2-6, Fugate 0-0-0, Diorio 0-0-0. Total 17-10-49. 3-point goals: 5 (Chew 3, Ault 2). FTM-FTA 10-15, 67 percent.
Shawn Robinson covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @twinzdad01.