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Inside game powers Chiefs past Tigers

Big and strong won out over small and quick Thursday night.

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Bellefontaine’s Julia Hunt, left, drives to the basket against West Liberty-Salem’s Alandra Cox during Thursday’s game at Bellefontaine. (EXAMINER PHOTO | MATT HAMMOND)

Taking advantage of its big size advantage inside, host Bellefontaine muscled past West Liberty-Salem 48-30 in non-league action.

Bellefontaine improves to 8-4, while the Tigers fall to 5-9.

The Chiefs played their second straight game without senior point guard Regan Price, who recently suffered an injury that will keep her out for the rest of the season.

Bellefontaine’s inside duo of senior Whitney Rader and Jazmyn Haley offset the absence of Price. Rader and Haley each had 15 points.

“We figured they would play zone, but we still did a good job of getting the ball inside and using our size advantage,” said BHS head coach Brian Hogan.

The Tigers had difficulty getting points in the paint and also struggled on the boards.

“Rader and Jazmyn are so big and strong and we were just not physical enough,” said WL-Salem head coach Dennis McIntosh. “We had to go zone, and I thought we did a decent job, but we only had 17 rebounds. You are not going to win many games when you only have 17 rebounds.”

Going into the game, the Tigers knew they would have to shoot the ball well against a much bigger Chieftain squad. However, that did not happen.

“We stressed this week that we had to shot the ball well if we wanted to win, but we didn’t make enough shots,” said McIntosh. “I thought we gave them some trouble at times with our full-court press. We got some turnovers, but we didn’t finish at the other end.

“We have to be more aggressive taking the ball to the basket. I know we had a disadvantage size-wise, but you still have to be aggressive. I told the girls that they may get a shot blocked here and there, but you can’t be afraid to go in there. We only got to the foul line six times. That is not good enough.”

Rader had six points in the opening quarter as Bellefontaine took a 10-9 lead.

Jazmyn Haley took over in the second period, scoring 11 points to help the Chiefs open up an 11-point cushion (26-15) at halftime.

“Jazmyn and Whitney did a good job finishing inside, and I thought we did a good job boxing out and limiting their second chances, too,” said Hogan.

Bellefontaine pushed its lead to 20 points (37-17) at the end of the third quarter and continued to maintain its momentum in the final period.

Senior guard Sajah Carter also turned in a strong effort for the Chiefs with 10 points. Kameren Haley chipped in five points.

Melany Ward led the Tigers with 12 points and Maria Daulton had 10 points.

In the junior varsity game, WL-Salem won 34-25. Jamie Peterson led the Tigers with 11 points and Maddie Mitchell had 13 points for Bellefontaine.

Both teams are back in action Saturday. The Chiefs host Springfield Shawnee and the Tigers travel to Greeneview.

BELLEFONTAINE 48, WL-SALEM 30

WL-SALEM (5-9)

Daulton 4 0-0 10; Ward 5 2-2 12; Shoemaker 2 0-0 4; Cox 1 0-0 2; Frederick 0 0-2 0; Day 0 0-2 0; Eggleston 1 0-0 2. Totals: 13 2-6 30.

BELLEFONTAINE (8-4)

Brunswick 0 1-2 1; Hunt 0 0-2 0; Carter 2 4-4 10; K. Haley 2 1-1 5; Close 0 2-2 2; Johnson 0 0-2 0; J. Haley 7 1-2 15; Rader 6 3-4 15. Totals: 17 12-19 48.

Tigers    9    6    2    13      —     30

Chiefs    10    16    11    11    —    48

Three pointers: WL-Salem 2 (Daulton 2); Bellefontaine 2 (Carter 2). Turnovers: WL-Salem 12; Bellefontaine 11. Team fouls: WL-Salem 6; Bellefontaine 16.

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