November 23, 2019 at 5:56 a.m.

Jay falls at Bellmont

JCHS girls basketball
Jay falls at Bellmont
Jay falls at Bellmont

By RAY COONEY
President, editor and publisher

DECATUR — Bellmont was crisp and aggressive. The Patriots weren’t quite playing at the same pace.

Still, they kept managing little spurts that kept them in contention, and then got a big one in the second half to pull within one. But the sustained energy just wasn’t there.

Jay County High School’s girls basketball team faded over the final quarter-plus as it fell 60-44 Friday to host Bellmont.

“I thought we started out not ready to play,” said JCHS coach Kirk Comer, whose team turned the ball over eight times in the first quarter. “I thought we weren’t ready for their aggressiveness. Too many soft passes. In the first half, too many turnovers. They were the much more aggressive team all night, but especially in the first half.

“They’d get all the loose balls. We’d rebound it and they’d knock it out of our hands. We just weren’t very good fundamentally.”

Jay County (1-2), which split its first two games against Alexandria and Oak Hill, fell behind 7-2 early, then took the lead on consecutive Pacie Denney 3-pointers.

It slipped behind again 15-8 early in the second quarter, then closed the gap to three on a steal and lay-up by Renna Schwieterman.

It trailed by nine at halftime, then rallied back to within one.

But the Patriots were never able to push ahead, and Bellmont (1-3) reasserted itself with a trapping defense.

“We were back to where we were the first half,” said Comer of his team’s reaction to that change. “We went through a little stretch where they built the lead back up again and we couldn’t make another run to get back in it.

“I just feel like we didn’t match their intensity. At times, we didn’t play near as hard as they did.”

Sophomore Madison Dirksen tallied a game-high 20 points to lead the Patriots, and Schwieterman, a freshman, followed with 13. Denney scored all of her six on the pair of first-quarter triples.

Kenzie McMahon and Meghan Busick paced Bellmont with 18 and 17 points, respectively, as the home team shot 20-of-40 (50 percent) from the field and 6-of-10 from long distance. Kenzie Fuelling added nine points.

Bellmont also outscored the Patriots 14-7 at the line while shooting 82 percent.

Jay County will be back in action tonight when it heads south to visit the Winchester Golden Falcons.

“In order to have any chance at all, we’re going to have to take care of the basketball a lot better,” said Comer. “They’re a team that’s going to come out and press you. They’re going to press from the beginning to the end and they’re not going to let up.”



Junior varsity

The game was tied at halftime before Jay County got shut out in the third quarter en route to a 39-25 defeat.

The Patriots trailed by two at the end of the first quarter before tying the game at 17 at halftime. But they failed to score in the third quarter as Bellmont took control.

Gabi Bilbrey scored all of her points in the first half as she led the Patriots with nine. Abbie Fields followed with eight.

Isabel Wilson tallied 12 points to pace Bellmont.
PORTLAND WEATHER

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