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Wild West up for grabs
Benton/Shullsburg knocks off No. 8 Belmont to force tie atop Six Rivers West standings
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Belmon senior Jannie deHaan shoots over Benton/Shullsburgs Emily Morrissey during Mondays Six Rivers West showdown.

      BENTON — The wild, wild Six Rivers West just got a little more wild after Benton/Shullsburg knocked off eighth-ranked Belmont, 46–43, at Benton High School on Monday night.

     The win moved the Zephyr/Miners (14–3 overall, 5-1 SRW) into a tie with the Braves (13–3, 5–1) atop the league standings.

     “This was big for us,” said Benton/Shullsburg head coach Nathan Russell. “We knew if we lost tonight it was really going to put us behind the eight-ball because we wouldn’t control our own destiny. This allows us to control our own destiny. We’ve gained that back. As long as we take care of our business, we’re going to have a chance at the conference championship.”

     Benton/Shullsburg opened the second quarter with a 14–3 run to regain the lead at 23–15. Belmont scored the final four points of the half on a pair of free throws by Keegan Kamps and a basket by Paige Nolan to slice the deficit to 23–19 by the intermission.

     The Zephyr/Miners scored the first nine points of the third quarter to open up their largest lead of the game at 32–19 following a 3-pointer by Maggie Neis with 2:57 to play in that period.

     Things were looking bleak for the Braves when senior Brianna Riechers went down with an apparent knee injury, but somehow her teammates found a way to rally.

     Trailing by 12 going into the fourth quarter, the Braves started to find their shooting touch once again. Brook Knebel, Kamps, Nolan and Katelyn Schobert each hit 3-pointers for the Braves in the final frame to cut the gap down to 44–41 with 1:38 to play, and Kamps added two more free throws with 39 second remaining to pull Belmont back within a point.

     Free throws by Payton Bastian and Lawrence put Ben/Shulls back up 46-43 with 16 seconds to go, and then the hosts forced a key Belmont turnover with just four ticks on the clock to seal the victory.

     “We battled back and started hitting some shots,” said Belmont head coach Kaleen McGettigan. “We could have laid over, especially after Riechers went down, but we didn’t. We played hard. I’m proud of the way we fought back. They are a really good team, and they came ready to play. We just had too many turnovers down and stretch and too many out of position plays.”

     Kayla Dougherty led a balanced Ben/Shulls attack with nine points. Neis hit two 3s on the way to an eight-point night, while Lawrence finished with seven and Bastian and Hattie Rennert added six apiece.

     “We held our composure. I don’t think we flinched at all. That was the big thing,” said Russell about Belmont’s fourth quarter run.

     Nolan paced Belmont with a game-high 12 points, while Kamps tallied 11 for the Braves.

     “It’s one of those games we’ll learn from and move on,” McGettigan commented.

     At Belmont, on Thursday, Jan. 22, the Lady Braves blew open a tight game by outscoring Potosi 30-13 over the final two quarters en route to a 52-33 SRW victory.

     The Braves took a slim 22-20 lead into the intermission, and then started to pull away with a 14-5 third-quarter run.

     Belmont doubled up the Chieftains (4-9, 0-5), 16-8, in the fourth quarter to run away with the season sweep.

     Keegan Kamps recorded a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Braves, and she added five steals and three assists.

     Jannie deHaan scored nine points and Brook Knebel tallied eight. Katelyn Schobert contributed six points, eight rebounds and four assists, while Caitlyn Gilbertson added six points, six rebounds and four blocked shots for the Braves.

     Calie Gibson scored 11 points to lead the Chieftains.

     Belmont hosts Highland in a SRW contest on Friday, Jan. 30, and the Braves have a non-conference game at Pecatonica (Blanchardville) on Tuesday, Feb. 3.

Benton/Shullsburg 46, Belmont 43
(from Monday, Jan. 26 @ Benton)

Belmont           12      7      2    22     —  43
Benton/Shulls.   9    14    10    13     —  46
Belmont (13–3, 5–1) — Jannie deHaan 4, Katelyn Schobert 15, Keegan Kamps 11, Brianna Ernst 2, Caitlyn Gilbertson 4, Brook Knebel 5, Paige Nolan 12. Totals — 12 15-18 43.
Benton/Shullsburg (14–3, 5–1) — Jenna Droessler 4, Hattie Rennert 6, Emma Lawrence 7, Maggie Neis 8, Brianna Leahy 2, Lily Carver 2, Kayla Dougherty 9, Payton Bastian 6, Emily Morrissey 2. Totals — 14 14-27 46.
3-point goals — B: 4 (Kamps 1, Knebel 1, Nolan 1, Schobert 1); B/S: 4 (Neis 2, Rennert 1, Bastian 1). Team fouls — B: 21, B/S: 17. Fouled out — B: Knebel.

Belmont 52, Potosi 33
(from Thursday, Jan. 22 @ Belmont)

Potosi        11     5       9      8     —  33
Belmont    10   12    14    16     —  52
Potosi (4–9, 0–5) — Taryn Stappert 2, Maddie Hawes 7, Taylor Bloyer 1, Shakayla Udelhoven 1, Brooke McKillip 6, Sophie Langkamp 5, Calie Gibson 11. Totals — 9 11-23 33.
Belmont (13–2, 5–0) — Jannie deHaan 9, Brianna Riechers 2, Kendra Lattin 1, Katelyn Schobert 6, Keegan Kamps 13, Brianna Ernst 3, Caitlyn Gilbertson 6, Brook Knebel 8, Paige Nolan 4. Totals — 18 11-17 52.
3-point goals — P: 4 (Hawes 1, McKillip 1, Kamgkamp 1, Gibson 1); B:  5 (Schobert 2, Kamps 1, Knebel 2). Team fouls — P: 19, B: 20. Fouled out — none.

Monticello 61, Potosi 47
(from Monday, Jan. 19 @ Potosi)

Monticello  13    14    16    18     —  61
Potosi          12    12    10    13     —  47
Monticello (8–5) — Devoe 14, Dilley 1, Garrison 4, Kubly 23, Zarow 8, Leuzinger 11. Totals — 23 16-20 61.
Potosi (4–8) — Abby Kaiser 10, Taylor Bloyer 8, Brooke McKillip 14, Sophie Langkamp 4, Calie Gibson 11. Totals — 16 11-17 47.
3-point goals — M: none; P: 4 (McKillip 1, Gibson 3). Team fouls — M: 15, P: 16. Fouled out — none.