BELLEFONTAINE – Following a first quarter in which a total of 34 points were scored and Bellefontaine grabbed a slim 18-16 lead over visiting Indian Lake, the Chieftains came out in the second with a sick zone defense that shut down the high-flying Lakers, the zone helping the hosts grab a 10-point halftime lead on its way to handing the Lakers a 74-53 loss in a boys CBC-crossover basketball game Dec. 22.
Neither team grabbed a clear advantage during the frenzied first quarter as both teams got it into overdrive right out of the gate, getting up and down the floor at a breakneck pace and each getting plenty of shots. But the Chiefs put the kibosh on the Lakers’ slash-and-burn offense with different zone looks for the rest of the night while breaking the Laker press with ease, stretching their lead to 20 points by the end of the third.
Beau Hefner knocked down 11 of the Lakers’ 16-first quarter points, hitting a three-pointer and connecting on all six of his foul shots in the period. But after the Chieftains (4-3 overall, 1-2 in the CBC Kenton Trail Division) slapped on the zone, Hefner did not make it to the line again, being held scoreless in the second period and closing with a game-high 18 points. Alex Jacobs and Kyle Shoffner each had nine points for the Lakers – Shoffner connecting on three baskets from long-distance – and Dylan Albright netted all six of his points on two treys in the fourth quarter. As a team, the Lakers hit eight shots from downtown.
Indian Lake (3-4 overall, 2-1 in the Mad River Division) took 10 foul shots in the first period alone, hitting nine, but took only six more for the rest of the game – none in the second quarter – connecting on 13 total for 81 percent. Bellefontaine reached the charity stripe for only eight shots on the night, hitting six.
Four Chieftains reached double figures in scoring. Isaiah Miller and Hayden Nease each hit eight shots from the floor, Miller closing with 17 points and Nease with 16. Jacob Rogan added 13 and Dawsin Tillman had 11 points for the winners.
Indian Lake has one more game in 2015 as the Lakers visit New Bremen Tuesday, Dec. 29, in a non-conference affair. The Lakers jump back into CBC Mad River Division play after the new year with a Jan. 5 game at Northwestern.
Tom Stephens is a regular contributor to this newspaper.