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Slow starts hold back Belmont in two of three games
Bel GBB defense color
BELMONT GUARD Nicole Knebel (#5) hounds a Pecatonica dribbler and forces a steal during Tuesdays non-conference girls basketball game. Knebel scored seven points in Belmont 56-17 win over the Vikings.

    POTOSI — Belmont made it a game late, but Potosi controlled the Six Rivers West girls’ basketball game from the jump and hung on for a 64-56 victory over the visiting Lady Braves on Thursday, Jan. 18.
    The Chieftains (10-2 overall, 7-1 SRW) exploded out of the gate against the Braves racing out to a commanding 27-7 lead over the game’s first 10 minutes.
    Senior Briana Ernst gave Belmont a bit of a lift, scoring eight points in three-minute span as the Braves (6-8, 3-4) 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 basket by Palzkill with 14:30 left in the game, but Potosi had a counter punch.
    Abby Kaiser split a pair of free throws, then senior Sophie Langkamp scored on three straight possessions and Hannah Udlhoven hit a 3-pointer to push the Chieftain lead to 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.
    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.
    Langkamp finished with a game-high 22 points and a team-high 12 rebounds to lead the Chieftains. Kaiser had nine rebounds, eight steals and six assists to go along with her 18 points, and Amber Udelhoven added 10 points.
    Ernst finished with a double-double recording 17 points and 10 rebounds. Althuas added 14 points and Wiegel scored a career-high 11 for the Braves.
    At Belmont, on Tuesday, Jan. 16, senior Kassandra Palzkill led three Belmont players in double figures with a game-high 17 points as the Lady Braves ran away with a 56-17 victory over the Pecatonica Vikings in a non-conference make-up game.
    Belmont flexed its defensive muscles early by holding the Vikings (1-14) scoreless for nearly 10 minutes to start the game. The Braves held a 10-0 lead before the guests finally put a shot through the net, and then picked up the scoring pace the rest of the half closing it on a 20-4 scoring run to build up a 30-6 halftime advantage.
    In the second half, the Braves outscored the Vikings, 26-11, to cruise to a 56-17 decision.
    Briana Ernst scored 13 points and Abby Althaus chipped in with 10, while junior guard Nicole Knebel added a season-high seven points for the Braves.
    Joselyn White paced Pecatonica with five points.
    At Galena, on Friday, Jan. 19, Galena guard Sydney Schuler dropped in three 3-pointers and 11 points in the first half to lead the Pirates out to a 17-11 halftime lead, and the hosts went 11-for-13 from the foul line in the second half to hold off the Lady Braves, 40-32, in non-conference action.
    Briana Ernst poured in nine of her team-high 15 points in the second half to try and fuel a Belmont comeback. Kassandra Palzkill tallied seven points in the game, and junior Sadie Willborn sank two second-half 3-pointers to add six points for the Braves.
    Belmont doubled up the Pirates on made field goals inside the arc, 12-6, but the hosts held a 5-2 edge on shots from outside the arc and outscored the Braves, 13-2, from the foul line.
    In the games against Potosi and Galena, we had a terrible start. In both cases, we made some adjustments, and the girls fought hard to get back in the game. We made a defensive adjustment at Potosi, and an offensive adjustment at Galena. Our outside shooting is starting to improve, and we handled the press really well at Galena. Even though we lost both games, I thought we made some improvements,” said Belmont head coach Alan Seabrooke. 
    Belmont will participate in the revived Six Rivers Challenge on Friday, Jan. 26, when they head to Juda to face the Panthers (4-10) in a crossover game starting with the junior varsity game at 6 p.m. followed by the varsity game around 7:30 p.m.
    The Lady Braves will also host Seneca (9-3) in a non-conference game on Saturday, Jan. 27, with the jv game tipping off at 5 p.m. with the varsity game to follow at 6:30 p.m.
    “As we finish the season, we need to learn how to start faster and make more free throws,” noted Seabrooke. Hopefully, we can build on the improvements we’ve been making and finish the season strong.”
Belmont……… 22   34 – 56
Potosi………… 37   27 – 64
    Belmont – Abby Althaus 14, Kassandra Palzkill 8, Briana Ernst 17, Callie Wiegel 11, Sadie Willborn 6. Totals – 21  5-14  56.
    Potosi – Kaiser 18, J. Udelhofen 5, Horner 6, A. Udelhoven 10, Langkamp 22, H. 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). Total fouls– B 16, P 19. Fouled out– B: Wiegel. Technical foul– B: Bench.
Pecatonica…….   6   11 – 17
Belmont…….….. 30   26 – 56
    Pecatonica – Zimmerman 2, Carr 4, Eaton 2, McKeon 2, White 5, Loomis 2. Totals – 6  5-13  17.
    Belmont – Abby Althaus 10, Nicole Knebel 7, Kassandra Palzkill 17, Briana Ernst 13, Callie Wiegel 2, Sadie Willborn 3, Chelsey Douglas 4. Totals – 21  13-19  56.
    3-point goals– P 0, B 1 (Willborn 1). Total fouls– P 14, B 13. Fouled out– none.
Belmont……… 3  8  11  10 – 32
Galena……….. 9  8  13  10  – 40
    Belmont – Abby Althaus 4, Kassandra Palzkill 7, Briana Ernst 15, Sadie Willborn 6. Totals – 14  2-3  32.
    Galena– Hulscher 3, Ludwig 3, Wasmund 10, Schuler 15, Muehleip 9. Totals – 11  13-15  40.
    3-point goals– B 2 (Willborn 2), G 5 (Hulscher 1, Ludwig 1, Schuler 3). Total fouls– B 11, G 10. Fouled out– none.