Belle splits boys twin bill at Russellville to close 2020

By Will Johnson, Sports Editor
Posted 1/6/21

RUSSELLVILLE — Three weeks removed from their last action, Chris Feeler’s Belle Tigers looked to close 2020 last Tuesday night with a notch in the win column on the road at …

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Belle splits boys twin bill at Russellville to close 2020

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RUSSELLVILLE — Three weeks removed from their last action, Chris Feeler’s Belle Tigers looked to close 2020 last Tuesday night with a notch in the win column on the road at Russellville.

This game against the Indians in Cole County was originally scheduled for Friday, Dec. 11 but was postponed due to Belle being in a COVID-19 related quarantine at the time.

Held to 13 first-half points, Belle did not have enough answers on offense to cool off a hot Russellville team before falling 67-43 to the host Indians.

“We we’re only able to practice twice last week and it showed out there tonight,” Feeler said. “We weren’t in rhythm on offense and you have to tip your hat to Russellville who had a hot night.”

Trailing 2-0 in the opening seconds of the game, Belle’s Gentry Dunn hit a 3-pointer giving the Tigers a 3-2 lead at the 7:17 mark of the first quarter.

Lasting all of 50 seconds, Belle saw the lead disappear when Russellville scored the next six points giving them an 8-3 advantage at the 5:10 mark of the opening period.

Buckets from Lane Feeler, Thomas Lingo and Justin Lingo left the Tigers trailing the Indians 17-9 after one quarter.

Now down 21-9 with 6:50 until halftime, Dunn hit another 3-pointer cutting the Russellville lead back to single digits at 21-12 at the 5:55 mark of the second quarter.

 Only able to muster a Justin Lingo free throw the rest of the second quarter, Belle saw Russellville close the first half on a 7-1 run to take a 28-13 halftime lead.

Dunn’s pair of 3-pointers gave him six first-half points to lead the visiting Tigers.

Bryce Mehrhoff led Russellville and all scorers with eight first-half points.

Able to double their first-half point total in the third quarter, Belle could not slow down Russellville’s offense.

After three quarters, Feeler’s Tigers trailed the Indians 48-28.

Lane Feeler led Belle in the third quarter with five points followed closely by Jace Gieck and Thomas Lingo with four points each.

Trading points with Russellville in the fourth quarter, the Tigers did not have enough offense to answer the Indians before ending 2020 with a loss on the road.

Limited to two first-half points, Feeler poured in 18 second-half points giving him a team-high 20 points leading Belle in scoring.

Thomas Lingo just missed a double double finishing with eight points and a team-high eight rebounds.

In addition to Dunn’s six first-half points, Gieck finished with four points all in the third quarter.

Feeler also recorded a team-high two steals while Gieck and Thomas Lingo both dished out a team-high two assists.

Mehrhoff led four Indians in double figures with 13 points.

Charlie Miller and Jesse Daniel each scored 12 points while Alex Oligschlaeger added a double double of 10 points and 13 rebounds.

Hours before Belle was scheduled to open the Owensville Tournament against Fatima Monday afternoon, the team had to go back into a COVID-19 quarantine for the third time this season due to multiple players being quarantined as close contacts to an individual with COVID-19.

Belle’s varsity and junior varsity Tigers are now scheduled to resume their season on Friday, Jan. 15 when they will host Richland’s Bears.

Prior to the varsity contest last Tuesday night, a full junior varsity game was played between Belle and Russellville.

Trailing 40-23 with 2:47 left in the third quarter, Jacob Walton’s Belle JV Tigers outscored the JV Indians 32-6 the rest of the game to post a dramatic 55-46 come-from-behind victory on the road.

In the first two minutes of the game, buckets from Logan Stratman and Talyn Litton helped Belle to a 4-1 lead at the 5:07 mark of the opening quarter.

From that point, Russellville ended the first quarter scoring 15 unanswered points to take a 16-4 lead after seven minutes of basketball from Cole County.

Trailing by 15 on three occasions in the second quarter, Walton’s JV Tigers used a 6-1 run in the final 1:10 of the half to go into halftime behind 28-18.

Litton paced Belle in the first half with seven points.

Chris Seaver and Oligschlaeger each scored six points to lead Russellville in the first half.

Outscored 10-5 to open the second half, the JV Tigers suddenly found themselves down 40-23 to Russellville with 2:47 left in the third quarter.

That is when they began to blaze the comeback trail.

Kameron Newton hit a 3-pointer to help spark a 12-2 run for Belle putting them right back in the game trailing 42-35 after three quarters.

Newton hit two 3-pointers in that run to go along with four points from Baylar Smith and a bucket from Cole Loughridge for two points.

Continuing to claw their way back into the game, a Loughridge bucket and a Kaiden Robertson 3-pointer for Belle trimmed Russellville’s lead to two at 42-40 with 5:44 left in the game.

Later in the quarter, Sam Willis converted an old-fashioned 3-point play before hitting a free throw to tie the game at 44-44 with 1:39 remaining in regulation.

Seconds later, Litton stole the ball, scored and got fouled giving the JV Tigers their first lead since the first quarter at 46-44 with 1:30 left.

Hitting the subsequent free throw for another 3-point play, Belle took the lead for good with a 47-44 advantage at that point.

Four Talton Lange free throws and a Smith lay up at the buzzer gave the JV Tigers their final margin of victory.

Litton led Belle and all scorers with a game-high 12 points.

Robertson just missed double digits by scoring nine points.

Doing all of his damage in the second half, Smith finished with an impressive stat line of eight points, four rebounds, four steals and two assists.

Lange added seven points followed closely by Newton with six markers for the JV Tigers.

Loughridge finished with five points in addition to pulling down a game-high six rebounds.

Willis scored all four of his points in the fourth quarter while Stratman rounded out the scoring for Belle with two first-quarter points.

Landon Plochberger led Russellville with nine points, five rebounds and three steals.

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