Highway 28 bragging rights elude Belle hoops squads

Will Johnson

OWENSVILLE — Handing Owensville a 67-55 loss in the title game of the 2nd Annual Belle Boys Basketball Tournament, Tim Evans’ Tigers looked for their second win in nine days over the Dutchmen Monday  night in the final game of a Highway 28 tripleheader at Owensville High School.

Able to tie the game on two occasions in the fourth quarter, Belle could not get over the hump falling to the host Dutchmen 52-44.

“It’s tough to beat a team like Owensville twice,” Evans said. “They had their crowd behind them and they came ready to play. We struggled getting shots to fall but we kept battling until the very end.”

Trailing 6-0 out of the gate, three points from Skylar Smith and a Mason Butler basket trimmed the OHS lead to 6-5 with 4:44 for the opening quarter.

Held to a Levi Fortner free throw the final 4:44, Belle entered the second quarter trailing 11-6.

To start the second stanza, Fortner drilled a 3-pointer and Smith added a bucket to knot the game at 11-11 with 6:55 until halftime.

Owensville responded with a 10-4 run to close the half and take a 21-15 lead at halftime.

Smith showed the way with nine first-half points for Belle.

Looking to answer OHS’ first-half closing run, the visiting Tigers opened the second half on a run of their own.

Started by a Tucker Cordsmeyer basket at the 7:10 mark of the third quarter, Belle also got a 3-ball from Mason Butler and four points from Smith to trim the Dutchmen lead to one at 25-24 with 2:26 for the third quarter.

Cordsmeyer and Smith both scored again leaving Belle with a 31-28 deficit entering the final eight minutes of basketball.

Unable to get shots to fall at the right time in the fourth quarter, the visiting Tigers could not overcome a 9-4 Owensville run over the final 1:36 of the game.

Lighting up the scoreboard in the second half, Smith led Belle with a double double of 28 points and 10 rebounds along with three blocked shots.

Mason Butler added seven points while Cordsmeyer scored five and pulled down 10 rebounds alongside Smith.

Kory Bauer led Owensville with a team-high 15 points.

Looking to ride the momentum of a third-place finish at Russellville, Evin Farris’ Belle Lady Tigers took on the host Dutchgirls in game two Monday night.

Trailing 22-4 in the second quarter, Belle caught fire cutting the deficit to one at 40-39 with 6:18 remaining on a pair of Gracie Schultz free throws.

Seeing a Chloe Krause bucket make it a 55-53 game with :43 ticks left, Belle was forced to foul and watch Breanna Diestelkamp make three of four free throws in the final 29.4.

This thwarted Belle’s comeback before falling to Owensville, 58-53.

Scoring eight points in each half, Halle Smith led the Lady Tigers with a team-high 16 points to go along with eight rebounds, three blocked shots and a steal.

Schultz caught fire in the second half scoring 11 of her 14 points joining Smith in double figures.

Krause also had a strong second half scoring all of eight of her points. She also added six rebounds, three steals and three assists.

Opening the tripleheader making up a game from Tuesday, Jan. 16, Owensville and Belle’s freshmen boys faced each other.

Trailing 35-20 at halftime, Jacob Walton’s picked the wrong time to go cold on offense scoring only two third-quarter points before falling to Owensville, 63-26.

Gentry Dunn led Belle’s freshmen Tigers with 11 points followed by six markers from Lane Feeler.

Brandon Ostertag (5) and Kolten Roberds (4) rounded out the scoring for the freshmen Tigers against the Dutchmen.

Belle will return to action Friday hosting Viburnum in a tripleheader starting with the JV boys at 5 p.m.