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Braves still clinging to top spot in West after wins over Zephyr-Miners & Wolves
Bel GBB KailKamps
BELMONT GUARD Kailee Kamps (#14) goes up strong to the basket between a pair of River Ridge defenders in Saturdays Six Rivers West make-up game in Belmont.

    BELMONT – Seniors Kailee Kamps and Molly Bockhop combined for 34 points to rally #10-ranked Belmont past upset-minded Benton/Shullsburg, 40-34, in a Six Rivers West girls’ basketball game at Benton High School on Thursday, Feb. 9.
    “We let this one split away tonight. We played 32 minutes of tremendous basketball and we couldn’t close it out in the last four,” said Benton/Shullsburg head coach Nathan Russell. “Belmont is a fantastic team who we happen to match up well against, but tonight they made more plays down the stretch then we did.”
    The Zephyr-Miners (9-10 overall, 3-4 in SRW) held a 16-13 halftime lead on the Lady Braves (17-3, 7-1), but the guests came back to deadlock the score at 23 all thanks to a 10-7 third quarter run.
    The Braves kept it up in the fourth quarter, outscoring the hosts 17-11 in the final period to escape with a six-point victory.
     “Benton-Shullsburg is a very good team. They are well coached and they are a bunch of hardworking girls. We knew it would be a tough game, and it was a must win for us,” stated Belmont head coach Kaleen McGettigan. “Our shots weren’t falling, but we found ways to get points on the board. We converted from the free throw line and made some key baskets down the stretch. It was a well played game on both sides and we are glad that we came out on top.”
    Kamps led all scorers with 18 points and she added 11 rebounds for a double-double, while Bockhop followed with 16 points.
    Sophomore Sarah Redfearn led the Zephyr-Miners with 10 points. Maggie Neis added eight points, Blaire Lutes added seven and Stephanie Roberts scored six for the co-op.
    At Belmont, on Saturday, Feb. 11, the Braves jumped out to a 26-11 halftime lead and held off a late push by River Ridge (7-10, 3-4) to remain atop the SRW standings with a 42-34 victory.
    It was nearly four years to the day since Belmont’s last win over the Timberwolves– a dramatic 63-58 five overtime victory over the ‘Wolves on Feb. 8, 2008.
    The Braves led 14-4 at the end of the first quarter and outscored the ‘Wolves by a 12-7 margin in the second quarter to open up a 15-point advantage.
    The T’Wolves closed to within eight by the end of the third quarter, but the Braves put the game away at the foul line in the final stanza. Belmont finished 8-for-11 at the foul line, while the ‘Wolves were 1-for-1 at the stripe.
    Kailee Kamps poured in a game-high 24 points to pace the Belmont attack, while senior Traci Kirschbaum led the ‘Wolves with 15 points.
    Cassie McCarthy added six points for the Braves, and Molly Bockhop chipped in with five points.
    At Shullsburg, on Tuesday, Feb. 7, Benton/Shullsburg used a 20-2 first quarter run to streak past the visiting Cassville Comets, 54-17, in SRW action.
    Freshman Jenna Droessler poured in a season-high 11 points to lead the Zephyr-Miners, who had 12 different players put their name in the scorebook on the night.
    Sarah Redfearn netted eight points and Blaire Lutes tallied seven points, while freshman Bailey Redfearn knocked down a season-high six points for the hosts.
    Our regulars didn’t have the energy that they normally do coming off a physical game the night before versus Darlington. Luckily for us we have a strong group of varsity bench players and jv players who all suited up for this game and gave us a tremendous amount of energy and allowed us to secure the win,” noted Coach Nathan Russell.
        At Benton, on Monday, Feb. 13, Southwestern outscored the hosts Zephyr-Miners in three of the four quarters, including a 17-12 advantage in the pivotal fourth quarter, to slip away with a 50-41 non-conference victory.
    Katelyn Hoppman led the visiting Wildcats with 22 points and Zoe Vaasen added 12 for the guests, while Blaire Lutes scored 13 points for Benton/Shullsburg with Sarah Redfearn adding nine points and Haley Morrissey chipping in with eight points.
    Belmont heads to Highland on Friday, Feb. 17, for a key SRW game; while Benton/Shullsburg travels to Potosi in another key SRW contest also on Friday evening.

Belmont…….. 6    7  10  17 - 40
Bent/Shulls… 6  10    7  11 - 34
Leading Scorers: Belmont– Kailee Kamps 18, Molly Bockhop 16, Keegan Kamps 4, Cassie McCarthy 2. Bent/Shulls– Sarah Redfearn 10, Blaire Lutes 7, Maggie Neis 8, Stephanie Roberts 6, Molly Blackbourn 3.
River Ridge…   4    7  15   8 - 34
Belmont…….. 14  12    8   8 - 42
Leading Scorers: Kailee Kamps 24, Cassie McCarthy 6, Molly Bockhop 5, Jordyn Kamps 4, Keegan Kamps 3.
At Belmont, on Saturday, Feb. 11
Cassville…….   2  4    5    6 - 17
Bent/Shulls… 20  4  13  17 - 54
Leading Scorers: Jenna Droessler 11, Sarah Redfearn 8, Blaire Lutes 7, Bailey Redfearn 6, Haley Morrissey 5, Alyssa Leeser 3, Holly Rennert 3, Maggie Neis 3, Molly Blackbourn 2, Stephanie Roberts 2, Emily Morrissey 2, Shawna Randecker 2.
At Shullsburg, on Tuesday, Feb. 7
(Make-up from Jan. 20)

Southwestern… 11  13    9  17 - 50
Bent/Shulls……   8    7  14  12 - 41
Leading Scorers: Blaire Lutes 13, Sarah Redfearn 9, Haley Morrissey 8, Stephanie Roberts 5, Emma Neis 3, Molly Blackbourn 2, Alyssa Leeser 1.
At Benton, on Monday, Feb. 13