DIXON — Last Monday night, John Viehland’s Belle Tigers had revenge on their minds entering the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) Class 3, District 9 Boys …
DIXON — Last Monday night, John Viehland’s Belle Tigers had revenge on their minds entering the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) Class 3, District 9 Boys Basketball Tournament at Dixon High School.
Matched up with Linn’s Wildcats in a Highway 89 showdown, Belle was looking to avenge a 37-33 loss to their Osage County rivals from the Eugene Tournament.
Tied at 33-33 after three quarters, Belle found themselves within striking distance of a mild first-round upset of the fourth-seeded Wildcats.
Down 40-35 with 4:12 remaining, consecutive buckets from Sam Willis and Brayden Cadwallader within a span of :17 cut Linn’s lead to 40-39 at the 3:35 mark of the fourth quarter.
Nearly a minute later, Linn rattled off seven unanswered points before ending Belle’s season at 9-17 by a 47-39 final score.
“Our guys battled throughout the entire game and I’m proud of them for that,” Viehland said. “We just couldn’t get enough shots to fall and you have to tip your hat to Linn who hit free throws down the stretch when we started fouling them.”
Down 7-2 with 2:55 for the opening period, Belle countered with a 7-2 run of their own to end the first quarter in a 9-9 tie.
Cole Loughridge led Belle with three first-quarter points followed by two each from the trio of Baylar Smith, Cadwallader and Willis.
Kaiden Robertson gave Belle their first lead of the game at 12-11 on a bucket at the 6:24 mark of the second quarter only to see it disappear :11 later on a Zach Dodson 3-point play.
From that juncture, there were three ties and three more lead changes before Linn went into halftime with a 21-19 lead.
Smith led the Tigers with six first-half points while Ashton Keilholz also paced Linn with six first-half points on a pair of first-quarter 3-point shots.
Opening the second half on a 7-2 run, Linn took a 28-21 lead at the 4:11 mark of the third quarter before Belle went on a 10-2 run of their own over a span of three minutes.
Logan Stratman started the run with a 3-pointer at the 3:57 mark of the quarter before Robertson bucket and a Cadwallader 3-pointer tied the game at 29-29 with 2:32 for the third quarter.
Belle took just their second lead of the game at 31-29 on a Robertson basket with just under a minute for the quarter.
Robertson scored again with :23 for the third giving the Tigers a 33-31 lead before Noah Hall tied at 33-33 in the closing seconds of the quarter.
Seeing Linn start the fourth quarter on a 7-2 run, Belle found themselves trailing 40-35 with 4:12 left in regulation.
Buckets from Willis and Cadwallader trimmed the Belle deficit to 40-39 with 3:35 to play.
Seeing Linn end the game on a 7-0 run, Belle’s season came to an end at 9-17.
Willis and Robertson each led Belle with eight points followed closely by Cadwallader with seven points and a team-high five assists.
Smith added six points and five rebounds followed by five points and 10 rebounds from Cole Loughridge.
Stratman hit a third-quarter 3-pointer for three points while Myles Butler rounded out Belle’s scoring against Linn with two points.
Hall led Linn and all scorers with 18 points followed in double figures by Dodson with 11 points.
Keilholz just missed making it three Wildcats in double figures finishing with nine points.
Seth Wolfe added six points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals for Linn.
Linn ended up falling 88-59 in the district semifinals to eventual champion Steelville.
Dispatching Conway’s Lady Bears 48-40 in C3D9 opening round action at Dixon last Tuesday, Evin Farris’ Belle Lady Tigers looked to punch their ticket to the district title game with a semifinal win Thursday over Linn’s Lady Wildcats.
Trailing 32-17 at halftime, Belle could not get any closer before dropping their Highway 89 showdown 64-42 against Linn.
Hali Naber scored eight of her team-high 14 points in the second half followed in double figures by Nevaeh Kinsey with 12 points.
Anastyn Lansford also added nine points against Linn who lost 30-29 to Steelville in the district championship game.
Kinsey also led Belle with 20 points in their win over Conway.
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