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Chiefs stagger in final minute, fall to Wildcats

Kenton rallies from five-point deficit in final 58 seconds

BHS-girls

Bellefontaine’s Kameren Haley goes up for a basket through the Kenton defense during the first half of their game Monday at Kenton High School. (EXAMINER PHOTO | AARON LaBATT)

KENTON — After a hot start to the season, Bellefontaine’s girls basketball team has found itself in a position it did not expect — a slump.

The Chieftains saw host Kenton pull out a 61-58 win in the final minute of their game Monday to send Bellefontaine to a three-game losing skid.

Bellefontaine (4-3) was ahead 58-53 with 58 seconds left in the game Monday, but turnovers and foul issues allowed the Wildcats (3-3) to claw their way back for the win.

“We didn’t take care of the basketball,” said BHS girls head coach Brian Hogan. “We forced some things that were uncharacteristic of us. We just have to get back to the basics.”

It was the Chiefs’ second three-point loss in three days. They lost 75-72 to Kenton Ridge on Saturday.

Kenton took a 12-6 lead after the first quarter, but Bellefontaine responded with a surge in the second quarter.

The Chieftains found themselves down by 10 points (18-8) one minute into the period. However, BHS went on a 12-2 run to tie the game 20-20 with 3:39 left before the break.

The score was tied 28-28 at halftime.

“We can’t approach league and non-league games differently,” said Hogan. “We did a nice job of battling back (after falling behind by 10), but we still got in a hole early. We can’t allow ourselves to get into those holes.”

Neither team refused to budge in the third quarter. There were six lead changes in the period. Bellefontaine emerged with a 44-41 advantage.

The Chiefs built a five-point cushion with less than a minute left in the fourth quarter.

However, Kenton was able to score four unanswered points to close to within one point (58-57) with 36 seconds remaining.

Brooklyn Hoyt then made two free throws for the Wildcats to give her team a 59-58 lead with 29.6 seconds left.

Bellefontaine missed a shot on its ensuing trip down the court. A BHS player and a Kenton player battled for control of the ball on the miss. Both players appeared to have a hand on the ball, but the Wildcats were awarded possession and they quickly called timeout.

The Chiefs then had to foul and Jenna Moore sunk two free throws to give Kenton a 61-58 lead with 6.4 seconds left in the game.

As Bellefontaine inbounded the ball for a final chance to tie the game, a high pass was knocked out of bounds by the Chiefs to eliminate any hope of a comeback.

Jazmyn Haley was a force for the Chiefs’ inside game on Monday. She finished with a game-high 24 points. Regan Price tallied 12 points, while Kameren Haley, Whitney Rader and Sajah Carter each had six points.

“Jazmyn had a giant game,” said Hogan. “She can be dominant when she wants to be. We just have to keep getting better as a team. We have to realize we have the potential.”

Bellefontaine won the junior varsity game 37-28, with Liz Martin as the high scorer with 12 points.

The Chiefs return to action Thursday at home against Tippecanoe for a Central Buckeye Conference Kenton Trail matchup.

KENTON 61, BELLEFONTAINE 58

BELLEFONTAINE (4-3)

J. Haley 11 2-9 24; K. Haley 3 0-0 6; Price 6 0-1 12; Rader 3 0-2 6; Johnson 1 0-0 3; Carter 2 2-2 6; Hunt 0 1-2 1. Totals: 26 5-16 58.

KENTON (3-3)

Whitaker 5 5-10 15; Downing 3 3-4 10; Miller 2 1-1 5; Legge 3 2-3 10; Bostelman 5 7-10 18; Webb 0 3-4 3. Totals: 18 21-32 61.

Chiefs    6    22    16    14      —     58

Wildcats    12    16    13    20    —    61

Three pointers: Bellefontaine 1 (Johnson); Kenton 4 (Legge 2, Downing, Bostelman). Team fouls: Bellefontaine 23; Kenton 15.

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