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Chiefs come alive when it counts

Bellefontaine rallies for OT victory over Yellow Jackets


Bellefontaine’s A.J. Gorham puts up a shot against a Sidney defender during Tuesday’s non-league game at Bellefontaine. (EXAMINER PHOTO | MATT HAMMOND)

Bellefontaine’s boys basketball team found itself in an unexpected jam at halftime against visiting Sidney on Tuesday.

The Chiefs fell behind by 10 points after two quarters against the winless Yellow Jackets.

After regrouping at halftime, a re-energized Chieftain squad battled back in the second half and forced overtime.

Bellefontaine then dominated the extra period to escape with a 54-49 victory in a non-league contest.

“We challenged the kids at halftime and I am proud of the way they responded in the second half,” said Bellefontaine coach Henry Stolly. “Both teams had chances to win. It was good to see our kids grind out a win.”

It was the third straight win for Bellefontaine (3-2). Sidney falls to 0-6.

“We were coming off two wins and maybe this game will bring us back down to earth a little bit,” said Stolly. “It shows us that we still have a lot to learn. On the positive side, I think we grew up a little. We kept fighting and grinding, and found a way to win.”

Bellefontaine led 14-13 after one quarter, but suffered through a nightmarish second quarter.

Sidney outscored the hosts 14-3 in the period to lead 27-17 at the break.

Bellefontaine shot just 1-of-10 from the field during the second stanza.

“We did not lock down on them defensively in the second quarter and they got a lot of second and third chances,” said Stolly. “We have to be more consistent defensively.”

The Chiefs played with a greater sense of urgency on both ends of the court in the second half.

Bellefontaine used a 15-5 run to tie the score at 32-32 with 2:47 left in the third quarter.

“Bellefontaine picked it up a little bit in the second half,” said Sidney head coach Greg Snyder. “They made a couple of nice adjustments and it seemed like everything we did in the second half was a little less than what we did in the first half. We were a step slow defensively and we did not execute as well offensively.”

The Yellow Jackets led by two points (36-34) at the end of the third quarter.

The teams traded the lead several times in the fourth quarter.

Sidney led 47-45 with less than a minute to play in regulation.

Bellefontaine tied the score with 32 seconds remaining on a bucket by Brett Wisner.

The Yellow Jackets were unable to do anything with their final offensive possession, sending the game into overtime.

Matt Gump hit a driving basket at the start of the extra session before Sidney followed with a pair of free throws to tie the score.

From there, it was all Bellefontaine. The Chiefs ended the game with a 5-0 run. All five points came at the foul line.

Bellefontaine finished the game 14-of-18 at the charity stripe.

“I think we ran our offense better in the second half,” said Stolly. “Our defensive pressure picked up, too.  We were able to get some steals and that gave us some momentum.”

The Chiefs came up with 10 steals and turned many of them into points on the other end of the court.

“Bellefontaine makes you pay when you try to dribble through them,” said Snyder. “Sometimes we rely too much on the dribble and that hurt us at times tonight.”

Matt Gump led Bellefontaine with a game-high 20 points. He also recorded seven rebounds, six assists and four steals.

Max Oyer contributed 10 points and A.J. Gorham and Wisner added eight each for Bellefontaine.

The Chiefs got strong defensive contributions from their bench. Senior Shaff Gorham provided a spark by forcing several Sidney miscues.

“I thought our bench was huge,” said Stolly. “Jake Kennedy did a nice job and Shaff Gorham really helped us on defense. He got a couple of big steals and did a good job of putting pressure on the ball.”

Although the Chiefs were able to come back to get the win, there was some concern following the game after sophomore starter Tristin Tillman aggravated a foot injury that hampered him in the preseason.

Tillman sat on the bench with ice on the sore foot in the second half.

“He has had some problems with that foot and he tweaked it again,” said Stolly. “He is going to get it checked out, and hopefully we can get him back soon. I know he will do everything he can to get back and help his team.”

Tyree Manley, who was coming off a 28-point effort against Trotwood-Madison on Friday, led the Yellow Jackets with 16 points.

Bellefontaine also won the freshman and reserve games.

The Chiefs prevailed 57-43 in the junior varsity contest. Daniel Boy led Bellefontaine with 19 points.

Bellefontaine’s freshman squad rolled to a 63-43 win. Jacob Rogan, Lane Wisner and Zach Reames each had 11 points for the Chiefs.

Bellefontaine is back in action Friday at home against Tippecanoe.



SIDNEY (0-6)

Daniel 4 0-0 8; Manley 5 3-4 16; Taborn 4 0-0 11; Beigel 3 1-2 8; Echols 2 2-2 6. Totals: 18 6-8 49.


Gump 6 6-7 20; A. Gorham 2 3-5 8; Oyer 3 4-4 10; Kennedy 1 1-2 4; Tillman 1 0-0 2; Wisner 4 0-0 8;  L. Mitchell 1 0-0 2. Totals: 18 14-18 54.

Jackets    13    14    9    11    2  — 49

Chiefs    14    3    17    13    7    —    54

Three pointers: Sidney 7 (Manley 3, Taborn 3, Beigel); Bellefontaine 4 (Gump 2, A. Gorham, Kennedy). Rebounds: Bellefontaine 22 (Gump 7). Assists: Bellefontaine 10 (Gump 6). Steals: Bellefontaine 10 (Gump 4). Turnovers: Sidney 19; Bellefontaine 11.

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