BELLBROOK — On a cold shooting night, host Bellbrook didn’t get its first lead until there were two minutes left in the Monday, Jan. 30 game. But from that point on, it was all Golden Eagles.
More specifically, the game’s final 30 seconds were all Bekah Vine’s, as Bellbrook rallied to a 36-29 win over Miamisburg.
Cassidy Bereda scored off a nifty inside pass from Kayla Paul to give Bellbrook its first lead, 30-28, with 2:01 yet to play. Miamisburg’s Emily Kepple hit the second of two free-throw tries with 58.3 ticks left, to make it a one-point contest, but then Vine was a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line the rest of the way to give Bellbrook a come-from-behind win.
“My hat’s off to them. (Miamisburg coach Allison Jaynes) has done a nice job with them. They played a really nice game against us,” Bellbrook coach Jason Tincher said. “In that first half, they had a great game plan, they were executing and, to be honest with you, they were a step faster than we were.
“It doesn’t look good when the ball’s not going in the hoop. We were 0-for-the game from 3-point range, and I think something like 5-for-29 from the field in the first half,” Bellbrook coach Jason Tincher said.
The Golden Eagles were 0-for-14 from behind the 3-point arc. They hit 43 percent of their shots in the second half, which allowed them to have a 28 percent shooting percentage for the game.
With that kind of cold Bellbrook shooting, Miamisburg took advantage with leads of 9-5 after one quarter, and 15-11 at the half. The lead narrowed to 22-19, Vikings after three quarters of play.
Bellbrook outscored Miamisburg 17-7 the rest of the way.
Three fourth-quarter steals — two by Stephanie Dorn and another by Paul — led to scores at the other end by Cassidy Hofacker, Bereda and Vine, which tied the game up at 26 apiece with 5:04 left to go in the contest. Hofacker and Vine were both playing with four fouls at the time.
“We had Cassidy and Hofacker both with three fouls in the first half, so they had to be careful not to foul out in the second. But they played smart in the second half, and only picked up one more foul apiece. … I just told them, when the ball’s not going in, you’re mentality is that you just have to persevere until it starts to work.
“We had some girls come off the bench, like Kylee Parker and Gigi Painter, who gave us a little spark when we needed it. We’re young, but we’ve got some good players.”
Tincher said his team’s defense clamped down better in the final period of play, and the Golden Eagles may have gained a step on Miamisburg thanks to that effort.
Vine scored eight of her game-high 13 points in the fourth quarter. Hofacker ended up with eight points and Bereda finished with six to lead the Golden Eagles (15-3). Bellbrook will get back into Southwestern Buckeye League, Southwestern division play Thursday, Feb. 2 when they’ll host Germantown Valley View.
While she was encouraged with her team’s effort, Miamisburg’s Jaynes was understandably frustrated with the ending.
“Bellbrook is a really good team, and in that second half they came out and executed when they had to. And us? … We’re really close, but we’re not there yet,” Jaynes said. “We haven’t been in too many of those close situations, and we just didn’t execute down the stretch.”
Emily Kepple led Miamisburg (4-14) with 10 points, while teammate Sha’mya Leigh was held scoreless in that fourth quarter, finishing with nine.
You can reach John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.