Prep girls basketball: Belpre routs Trimble, 66-46

BELPRE – A 9-0 run in the last minute of the first half got Belpre back on track and gave it momentum going into the second half en route to a 66-46 Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division girls basketball game Thursday night over Trimble.

The win improved the Golden Eagles’ records to 13-6 overall and 8-6 in the TVC Hocking, while the Tomcats slipped to 6-14, including 6-8 in TVC Hocking contests.

After a close, back-and-forth first quarter that ended with Belpre on top 18-15 on a Sierra Barker trey and Hannah Lawrentz’s three-point play in the final minute, the Golden Eagles started the second stanza strong. Barker’s short baseline jumper followed by Emily Hughes’ 3-ball from the left wing and two free throws propelled Belpre into a 10-point lead, 25-15, after just 2:03 of play.

But Trimble rallied behind Demi Moore and Nicole Kish, who tallied all the Tomcats’ points in a 9-2 run, to close the gap to only three, 27-24, with 1:14 left in the first half.

At that point, Belpre head coach Scott Miller called a timeout and set up his team in full-court pressure, which resulted in nine straight points to end the half. Two Audrea Linton foul shots at 1:01, Lexus Cunningham’s inbounds steal and feed to Linton for a layup at 57.5 seconds, a Barker trey at 26.8 seconds and finally a Katelyn Hughes hoop at 14. 8 seconds let Belpre push out a 36-24 advantage by intermission.

”That gave us the spark that we needed,” said Miller, and his team kicked off the second half with a 6-0 spurt to shoot out to a 42-24 spread. However, Trimble cut into the Golden Eagles’ lead over a 2 1/2-minute span, outscoring Belpre 10-2 to claw back within 10 at 44-34 before Belpre finished another quarter strong on a 10-1 tear. Katelyn Hughes had a pair of traditional three-point plays in the run up to the third-period buzzer to give the hosts an 18-point bulge, 54-36. And the margin for Belpre reached as much as 23 at 62-39 with 3:15 to go in the final period, as Barker paced the Golden Eagle point-producers with 18, followed by Katelyn Hughes with 16, Emily Hughes with 11 and Linton with 10.

In double-figure points for Trimble were Kish with 16, Moore with 12 and Tia Altier with 11.

Belpre is down to its last three regular-season games next week, starting at Wahama at 6:30 p.m. Monday. On Wednesday, the Golden Eagles will hold Senior Night versus Meigs with a 6 p.m. JV half of basketball followed by the varsity tilt before playing at Waterford at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.