BELMONT — The last time the Belmont girls’ basketball team won a regional title the number one song in the nation was the Bee Gees “Stayin’ Alive.” Yeah, it’s been a long time.
Now, 36 years later, the third-seeded Lady Braves are once again stayin’ alive after defeating six-seeded Potosi, 52–47, to claim the program’s first regional title since 1978 in a WIAA Division 5 regional championship game held at BHS on Saturday.
“I am so unbelievably proud of the girls and how they have been playing. They deserve this regional championship. They’ve put in the time and continued to stay focused on our goals. I am so happy for them and our community,” said Belmont head coach Kaleen McGettigan. “It’s been a long time since the girls have celebrated a regional championship in basketball. It is a feeling we will never forget.”
Belmont (17–7) advances to sectional play where they will face top-ranked and unbeaten Barneveld (24–0) in a semifinal showdown in Mineral Point on Thursday at 7 p.m. The winner moves on to face either Gilmanton (12–11) or Hillsboro (21–4) in the sectional final at La Crosse Logan at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
“Barneveld is top-ranked for a reason and we are very aware on how good they are,” said McGettigan. “We are the heavy underdogs and that is okay with us. There is a reason you play the game. We are going to go in and play loose. We have nothing to lose. We are at a sectional game for the first time since 1978 and we are going to enjoy every minute of it.”
Last Saturday’s game was played at Belmont after the Chieftains (14–10) knocked off second-seeded River Ridge (18–4) in a regional semifinal game at Patch Grove on Friday.
The Braves were able to defend the home court and get some revenge for two close losses to Potosi from earlier in the season thanks to the efforts of a pair of juniors.
Junior guard Katelyn Schobert poured in a season-high 14 points and junior forward Keegan Kamps followed with 13 points to lead a balanced Belmont attack. The duo each went 6-for-6 from the foul line in the fourth quarter to hold off Potosi’s second-half charge.
“Every time we play Potosi, it is a battle and this game was no different. We were able to get a big lead in the first half thanks to our great team play and solid defense. We kept them off the offensive glass and forced them into some turnovers,” said McGettigan. “We were able to keep the lead the rest of the way by knocking down very important free throws.”
Early on it appeared as if the Braves would run away from the Chieftains after doubling them up on the scoreboard in the first quarter, 18–9, and then pulling ahead 25–12 at the intermission.
Potosi fought its way back into the game by outscoring the Braves 19–9 in the third quarter, but the hosts knocked down some clutch free throws in the fourth quarter to hold off the Chieftains. In addition to Schobert’s and Kamps’ dead-eye shooting, senior Jordyn Kamps added three free throws down the stretch.
Belmont finished 20-for-26 at the line on the night, while Potosi went 14 of 18 at the stripe.
Schobert added seven rebounds, four assists and two steals along with her team-high 14 points, while Keegan Kamps had seven rebounds, four steals and three assists. Jordyn Kamps and Brianna Riechers (season-high) each added seven points, while Jannie deHaan scored six points with eight baords and Alie Klein chipped in with five points and two steals for the Braves.
Sophomore Makenzie Brown score 19 of her game-high 21 points in the second half to pace the Potosi comeback, including a perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line. She also grabbed eight rebounds. Sophomore point guard Maddie Hawes added 10 points, six assists and five rebounds, while fellow sophomores Taylor Bloyer and Calie Gibson netted eight apiece for the Chieftains.
“Anytime you have such a young team that can get the experience of playing in the regional final its a positive for the future,” said Potosi head coach Brad Bierman. “Obviously we are disappointed we didn’t get the win Saturday and a chance to play in the sectional game, but this tournament run gives us a lot of momentum going into the offseason.”
Belmont advanced to the regional championship game by routing Pecatonica, 58–15, in their regional opener at BHS last Tuesday, and followed up with a 48–34 victory over Six Rivers West rival Highland in a regional semifinal affair back at BHS on Friday.
Keegan Kamps scored 13 of her game-high 22 points in the first half and she added 10 rebounds for a double-double along with eight steals and four assists in Tuesday’s win over the Vikings (1–22).
Jordyn Kamps contributed 11 points with five steals, while Klein netted six points and freshman Caitlyn Gilbertson added a season-best five points and nine rebounds.
In Friday night’s win over the Cardinals (13–9) Klein scored nine of her career-high 14 points in the opening quarter to lead the Braves out to an early lead, while Keegan Kamps tallied seven of her 14 points in the second stanza. Klein added three assists and Keegan Kamps had nine steals.
WIAA Division 5 Regional Quarterfinals
Belmont 58, Pecatonica 15
(from Tuesday, March 4 @ Belmont)
Pecatonica 4 2 6 3 — 15
Belmont 11 16 22 9 — 58
Pecatonica (1–22) — Hendrickson 2, Gruenenfelder 2, Scoville 2, Moen 3, Meyer 6. Totals — 5 5-10 15.
Belmont (15–7) — Jannie deHaan 2, Kendra Lattin 3, Katelyn Schobert 2, Keegan Kamps 22, Audrey Wedig 3, Alie Klein 6, Caitlyn Gilbertson 5, Brook Knebel 3, Jordyn Kamps 11, Paige Nolan 1. Totals — 20 16-31 58.
3-point goals — P: 0; B: 2 (K. Kamps 1, Wedig 1). Team fouls — P: 21, B: 11. Fouled out — none.
WIAA Division 5 Regional Semifinals
Belmont 48, Highland 34
(from Friday, March 7 @ Belmont)
Highland 10 17 5 2 — 34
Belmont 19 12 6 11 — 48
Highland (13–9) — Laufenberg 4, Kosharek 8, Wienkes 12, Bomkamp 5, Yager 3. Totals — 12 7-13 34.
Belmont (16–7) — Jannie deHaan 9, Brianna Riechers 6, Katelyn Schobert 2, Keegan Kamps 14, Alie Klein 14, Jordyn Kamps 2, Audrey Wedig 1. Totals — 18 11-17 48.
3-point goals — H: 3 (Kosharek 2, Wienkes 1); B: 1. Team fouls — H: 20, B: 15. Fouled out — none.
WIAA Division 5 Regional Finals
Belmont 52, Potosi 47
(from Saturday, March 8 @ Belmont)
Potosi 9 3 19 16 — 47
Belmont 18 7 9 18 — 52
Potosi (14–9) — Maddie Hawes 10, Taylor Bloyer 8, Calie Gibson 8, Mackenzie Brown 21. Totals — 15 14-18 47.
Belmont (17–7) — Jannie deHaan 6, Brook Knebel 7, Katelyn Schobert 14, Keegan Kamps 13, Alie Klein 5, Jordyn Kamps 7. Totals — 14 20-26 52.
3-point goals — P: 3 (Hawes 1, Gibson 1, Brown 1): B: 4 (Schobert 2, K. Kamps 1, Klein 1). Team fouls — P: 22, B: 14. Fouled out — P: Paige Brinkman; B: Klein.