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Southwestern girls top Belmont
BELMONT SENIOR Briana Ernst (#11) drops in two of her team-high 16 points in the Lady Braves 56-42 loss to Southwestern in their season opener on Nov. 16.

    HAZEL GREEN — Junior guard Madison Myers poured in 14 of her game-high 20 points in the second half to help the Southwestern Wildcats hold off the visiting Belmont Braves, 56-42, in a non-conference prep girls’ basketball game held at Southwestern High School on Thursday, Nov. 16.
    The Lady Wildcats (1-1 overall) picked up first-year head coach Aaron Kaiser’s first varsity victory, while Coach Alan Seabrooke’s Braves (0-1) fell in their season opener.
    Southwestern scored the first six points of the game and built up a 17-4 lead with seven minutes remaining in the first half as the Braves tallied more fouls (six) than points (four) through the first 11 minutes of the game.
    Senior forward Briana Ernst knocked down the first three baskets for the Braves and netted nine of the team’s points in the opening half despite early foul trouble.
    Belmont, who will not field a junior varsity team this season with just 11 players in the high school program, had just eight players suited up for Thursday’s game. Two of those players tallied three fouls in the first half, which allowed the Wildcats to be a bit more aggressive on the offense end.
    Sophomore center Abby Budden score all 10 of her points in the first half and the ‘Cats went 5-for-8 at the foul line on the way to a 25-13 halftime lead.
    The Wildcats came out and scored the first six points of the second half to open up their largest lead of the game and they were still leading by 17 until a 15-4 scoring run brought the Braves back within seven with 3:03 to play.
    Ernst sank a basket and a pair of free throws to cut the Southwestern lead to 49-42, but that would be as close as the Braves would get as they were held scoreless the rest of the way.
    Myers quieted the Belmont rally with a long field goal, while Kailey Droessler added a basket and Hailey Hinman went 1-of-2 from the foul line to put the ‘Cats back on top 54-42 with 1:23 remaining.
    Hinman finished with 13 points and Droessler chipped in with eight for Southwestern.
    Ernst scored a team-high 16 points. Senior forward Kassandra Palzkill scored all nine of her points in the second half to help fuel the comeback effort, while junior guard Abby Althaus added seven of her 10 points over the final 18 minutes of play.
    Freshman guard Kylie Crapp also had five points– all off the bench in the second half– for the Braves.
    Belmont will host a pair of Six Rivers East foes in upcoming non-conference games. The Braves will face Argyle on Tuesday, Nov. 28, at 6 p.m. as part of a girls’-boys’ doubleheader at BHS, and then play Albany on Thursday, Nov. 30, at 7:30 p.m.

Belmont……….. 13   29 – 42
Southwestern… 25   31 – 56
    Belmont – Abby Althaus 10, Elsie de Haan 1, Kassandra Palzkill 9, Briana Ernst 16, Kylie Crapp 5, Chelsey Douglas 1. Totals – 15  9-18  42.
    Southwestern – Kailey Droessler 8, Hailey Hinman 13, Madison Myers 20, Emilie Reese 3, Abby Budden 10, Kate Wright 2. Totals – 22  10-15  56.
    3-point goals– B 3 (Althaus 2, Crapp 1), S 2 (Hinman 1, Myers 1). Total fouls– B 15, S 18. Fouled out– B de Haan.