BELMONT – A deep bench is a weapon for any Division 5 school, especially early in the season.
Shullsburg used its depth to their advantage in their Six Rivers Conference Western Division opener by pulling away early and holding on late to shoot down the short-handed Belmont Braves, 59-48, in boys’ basketball action at BHS on Friday, Dec. 9.
Seven different players scored for the Miners (1-3 overall, 1-0 in SRW) in the opening half as they raced out to a 36-23 advantage on the Braves (0-5, 0-1). Junior guard Colin Hauser sank three 3-pointers to lead the way for the Miners with 11 points, while senior forward Jacob Scott chipped in with eight points over the first two frames.
The Braves grabbed their only lead of the game at the 4:44 mark of the first quarter on a basket by Jeremy Richardson, but the Miners closed the period on a 12-4 run to open up an 18-11 advantage.
Shullsburg scored the final six points of the second quarter to grab their 13-point halftime lead, then opened the third quarter with a quick 10-5 spurt to open up their largest lead of the night at 46-28.
We got behind in the game because we made poor decisions in transition, and gave up too many open looks,” said Belmont head coach Jeff Hodgson. “At times we played so well and showed we can compete in this league, and at other times we played like a group of young kids.”
Belmont showed a lot of heart by trimming the deficit back to single digits with a 9-0 run of their own in the third quarter, and the Braves were within seven at 53-46 after Richardson scored with 2:33 to play in the game to put a bit of a scare into the Miners.
Junior guard Pierce Russell eliminated any hope of a Belmont comeback by scoring the game’s next five points to build the Miners’ lead back up to 58-46 with 35 seconds to play, and Shullsburg held on for their first win of the season.
“Our lack of depth has been an issue so far. I hope this will work itself out when we get everyone back,” stated Hodgson, who was missing senior guard and 3-point threat Avery Willborn from the starting line-up for the second straight game. “I am pleased with the effort I am getting from the kids, but we need to solve some issues to be more consistent offensively.”
Scott finished with 16 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals to lead the Miners, while Hauser and Russell each finished with 12 points in the victory.
Kyle Hoppman added six points for Shullsburg, while Nate Carrier added four points to go along with five rebounds and four assists. Off the bench, Hervey Trejo came in for four points and John Meyer pulled down five boards for the Miners.
Richardson led all scorers in the game with 20 points and he added five rebounds for Belmont. Justin Nodorft tallied 11 points– all in the first half– to go along with three assists and two steals, while Brandon Wedig chipped in with seven points– all in the second half– and five rebounds.
Isaac Haag added six points, and Lane Friedrich contributed three assists and two steals for the Braves.
Shullsburg is in SRW action at Cassville on Tuesday, Dec. 20.
Belmont is at River Ridge on Thursday, Dec. 15, and at Benton on Tuesday, Dec. 20, in SRW play.
Shullsburg… 18 18 11 12 - 59
Belmont……. 11 12 16 9 - 48
Leading Scorers: Shullsburg–Jacob Scott 16, Pierce Russell 12, Collin Hauser 12, Kyle Hoppman 6, Nate Carrier 4, Hervey Trejo 4, Matt Cook 2, John Meyer 2, Reid Schwartz 1. Belmont– Jeremy Richardson 20, Justin Nodorft 11, Brandon Wedig 7, Isaac Haag 6, Kyle VanBogaert 2, Lane Friedrich 2.
OTHER RECENT GAMES
Southwestern… 3 14 14 17 - 48
Shullsburg….… 12 6 10 15 - 43
Leading Scorers: Pierce Russell 13, Reid Schwartz 10, Jacob Scott 8, Collin Hauser 7, Zach Wedige 3, Nate Carrier 2.
At Shullsburg on Tuesday, Dec. 6
Belmont… 10 4 10 11 - 35
Juda….… 20 19 13 18 - 70
Leading Scorers: Justin Nodorft 12, Brandon Wedig 8, Jeremy Richardson 6, Isaac Haag 3, Tucker Wedig 3, Lane Friedrich 3.
At Juda on Tuesday, Dec. 6