POTOSI — Belmont made it a game late, but Potosi controlled Thursday’s Six Rivers West girls basketball game from the jump and hung on for a 64–56 victory over the visiting Belmont Braves.
Fresh off their first conference loss of the season, a 55–51 loss at Shullsburg on Jan. 12, the Chieftains exploded out of the gate against the Braves, racing out to a commanding 27–6 lead over the game’s first 10 minutes.
Senior Abby Kaiser scored eight of her 18 points in the first seven minutes, then scored on a pair of layups to make it 27–6 with 7:37 left in the opening half.
“We have great leadership on this team so I thought thegirls would respond well to the loss at Shullsburg,” said Potosi head coach Brad Bierman. “I thought everyone played well and it was nice to have Brittany back in the line-up after missing the Shullsburg game.”
Senior Briana Ernst gave Belmont a bit of a lift, scoring eight points in three-minute span as the Braves trimmed the deficit to 33–19 on putback by Kassandra Palzkill with 3:40 left in the half.
Abby Althaus buried one of her four 3-pointers for Belmont to make it 37–22 at the half.
Belmont trimmed the Potosi lead to 10 at 41–31 on a three-point play by Ernst and a postup by Palzkill with 14:30 left in the game, but Potosi had a counter punch.
Kaiser split a pair of free throws, then senior Sophie Langkamp scored on three straight possessions for the Chieftains.
Senior Hannah Udelhoven’s 3-pointer made it 52–38 with 10 minutes left.
Langkamp then scored seven points in an 11–4 Potosi run that pushed the lead to 63–45 with 5:38 left.
“We were struggling matching up with their post players on some of their sets so we switched to a zone and it seemed like it took them a while to get adjusted to the zone. I think that allowed us to build the lead back up.”
Junior Callie Wiegel, who made three first-half 3-pointers, buried a 15-foot jumper and Althaus made back-to-back 3-pointers as the Braves scored 11 straight points to get back within seven points at 63–56 with 36 seconds left, but it was too little too late.
Potosi committed four turnovers and missed 3 of 4 free throws in final three minutes.
“You always want to finish the game strong so the mistakes down the stretch were disappointing, but you also have to give credit to Belmont for continuing to fight,” said Bierman. “We can use those final minutes to learn from and get better.”
Langkamp finished with a game-high 22 points and a team-high 12 rebounds to lead the Chieftains, who improved to 10–2 overall and 7–1 in the Six Rivers West. Kaiser had nine rebounds, eight steals and six assists to go along with her 18 points.
Amber Udelhoven added 10 points, four boards and two steals. Horner finished with six points in her return to the Potosi lineup.
Ernst finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Althuas added 14 and Wiegel scored 11 for the Braves, who fell to 6–7, 3–4.
Potosi 64, Belmont 56
(from Thursday, Jan. 18 @ Potosi)
Belmont 22 34 — 56
Potosi 37 27 — 64
Belmont (6–7, 3–4) — Abby Althaus 14, Kassandra Palzkill 8, Briana Ernst 17, Callie Wiegel 11, Sadie Willborn 6. Totals – 21 5-11 56.
Potosi (10–2, 6–1) — Abby Kaiser 18, Justice Udelhofen 5, Brittany Horner 6, Amber Udelhoven 10, Sophie Langkamp 22, Hannah Udelhoven 3. Totals — 27 6-16 64.
3-point goals — B: 9 (Althaus 4, Wiegel 3, Willborn 2), P: 4 (J. Udelhofen 1, Horner 1, Langkamp 1, H. Udelhoven 1). Team fouls — B: 16, P: 16. Fouled out — none. Technical fouls — Belmont coach.