Tecumseh on Friday turned the Central Buckeye Conference Kenton Trail division into a wide open race again.
Bellefontaine’s Caleb Mitchell shoots over a Tecumseh player during Friday’s game at Bellefontaine. (EXAMINER PHOTO | MATT HAMMOND)
The Arrows handed host Bellefontaine its first league loss with an impressive 61-44 victory.
The Chiefs (6-2, 3-1) came into the game with a one-game lead in the KT division, but now join the Arrows (10-1, 3-1) and Tippecanoe among three teams with one loss.
“Number one, you have to give Tecumseh credit,” said BHS head coach Henry Stolly. “They played really well. They were stout defensively. They kept us out of the paint. Offensively, they did a good job of attacking the basket.”
Tecumseh has won seven straight games since its lone loss, a 52-48 defeat at the hands of Tippecanoe.
“I feel like we are sharing the ball a lot better over the last couple of weeks,” said Tecumseh head coach Roger Culbertson. “Our kids are doing a good job making the extra pass and finding the open guy.”
The Arrows set the tone for the night with a 12-0 run to start the game. Bellefontaine did not score until seven minutes into the contest.
“They got up on us early and we just could not recover,” said Stolly. “It as an uphill battle all night. They had an answer for every run we had.”
Tecumseh led 14-5 at the end of the first quarter and held an eight-point lead (27-19) at halftime.
Bellefontaine started the second half with a three-pointer by Daniel Boy that got the home team within five points, but the optimism of a comeback win was short lived.
The Arrows countered with an 11-1 run to open up a 15-point advantage (38-23) with 4:16 left in the third quarter.
“The start of the second half was similar to the start of the first half,” said Culbertson. “It is always crucial how you come out of the locker room, and we were fortunate to get off to a good start in the third quarter.”
The visitors did not allow Bellefontaine to get within single digits the rest of the way.
“We knew it would be a game of runs, but we could not match the runs they were able to make,” said Stolly. “Any time we came up with a little spurt, they answered with a big run.”
Regarded as perhaps the most athletic team in the CBC, the Arrows did a lot of damage with their penetration.
Sophomore guard Malik Quisenberry, a brother of former Tecumseh girls standout Bianca Quisenberry, led Tecumseh with a game-high 19 points.
Get complete game coverage in Saturday's Examiner.