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Douglas, Wedig lead Belmont boys to 4-OT win at Juda
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     JUDA — Sophomore Mitch Douglas scored all three of his points early in the fourth overtime period to put Belmont into the lead for good and junior Brady Wedig went 4-for-4 at the free throw line the rest of the way as the visiting Braves outlasted the Juda Panthers, 73–69, in a marathon contest held at JHS on Friday evening.

     Junior Luke Kamps poured in a career-high 21 points to lead the Braves (2–12) over the Panthers (0–15) for the second time this season, while seniors Colin Austin and Ethan James chipped in with season-highs of 16 and 12 points, respectively, to help counter an impressive 36-point performance from Juda’s junior guard Dominic Taylor.

     Belmont pulled out to a 29–16 first-half lead, but the Panthers fought back with a 36-point effort in the second half to grab a 52–49 lead late in regulation.

     Kamps sent the game into overtime by nailing the game-tying 3-pointer at the buzzer to deadlock the score at 52 all.

     “It was a great game by both teams with a lot of adversity. It was a great team effort for us where we each player played their role and made the plays they needed to make,” said Belmont head coach Mitch Austin. “Colin fouled out with eight minutes left in the second half, so our bench players stepped up and played well. Luke made a great play at the end of regulation to get himself free enough to knock down a game-tying 3-pointer.” 

     The teams were knotted at 57 all at the end of the first extra session, and they went into a third OT period tied at 63 all after James sank a pair of free throws with 0.1 second remaining on the clock.

     Each team managed only three points apiece in the third OT to extend the game to a fourth extra period. With two starters sitting the bench after fouling out, the Braves needed someone to step up in the fourth OT and that someone was Douglas, who put them into the lead with a layup and a free throw. 

     Then, Wedig did the rest by connecting on all four of his free throw attempts in the period to lead the Braves to a 73–69 victory and just their fifth win in the 15-year history of the Challenge.

     Wedig scored 10 of his 12 points in the second half and overtime periods, and he went 8-of-10 from the foul line to help the Braves finish 20-for-31 on their free throw attempts in the game.

     Kamps buried four of the Braves’ 11 3-point baskets and went 5-for-8 at the line, while Austin nailed three treys and junior Justan Ernst added two 3s and two free throws along with James.

     “Throughout the overtimes, we learned some game awareness and became patient in our offense, taking good shots rather than forced shots. In all, there were a lot of good moments for our young men that we can build on and continue to grow from,” Austin commented.

     Taylor scored 24 of his 36 points in the second half and OT periods to lead the Panthers. He sank five 3s and went 7-for-10 from the foul line. Gavin Kammerer netted 12 points and Dogukan Yetgin added 11 for Juda.      

     The Six Rivers East earned bragging for the fourth year in a row by topping their West counterparts during the 15th annual Six Rivers Conference Boys’ Basketball Crossover Challenge held on Friday, Jan. 25.

     The East defended their home courts for the most part, winning four of the six head-to-head match-ups to even the all-time series against the West at 7–7–1. The West holds a slim 53–52 all-time overall record over the East during 15-year run of the event with one game remaining to be played this year. Cassville was unable to get their game in at Monticello on Friday night, but will face the Ponies in a rescheduled game on Feb. 9.

     In the spotlight game of the night, East leader Barneveld downed West leader and #5-ranked Potosi, 69–63, in the match-up of first-place teams.

     Black Hawk defeated Benton, 69–56, in one of the two second-place match-ups, while Shullsburg rallied past Pecatonica, 43–40, in the other second-place game.

     Albany topped River Ridge, 64–60, and Argyle downed Highland, 48–36, in the fifth and sixth-place games to secure the victory for the East.

     Next up, Belmont (0–6 SRW) travels to Benton (5–2) on Thursday, Jan. 31, and returns home to host Potosi (11–3, 7–0) on Tuesday, Feb. 5, in SRW action.


Belmont… 29   23  5  6  3  7 – 73

Juda…….. 16   36  5  6  3  3 – 69

Belmont – Kolton Westemeier 1, Ethan James 12, Luke Kamps 21, Colin Austin 16, Justan Ernst 8, Brady Wedig 12, Mitch Douglas 3. Totals – 21  20-31  75.

Juda – Q. Kammerer 7, Taylor 36, G. Kammerer 12, Sheffler 1, Yetgin 11, Johnson 2. Totals – 22  16-26  69.

3-point goals – B 11 (James 2, Kamps 4, Austin 3, Ernst 2), J 9 (Q. Kammerer 1, Taylor 5, G. Kammerer 3). Total fouls – B 24, J 22. Fouled out – B: Kamps, Austin; J: Q. Kammerer.