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Third-quarter struggles spoil Bell City boys basketball team's season
OAK RIDGE -- One horrific quarter derailed the Bell City Cubs' season.
The fourth-seeded Richland Rebels outscored the fifth-seeded Cubs 18-3 in the decisive third quarter.
It was enough to propel the Rebels to a 69-60 victory in the opening round of the Class 1 District 2 boys basketball tournament Saturday.
"It's amazing in basketball how one quarter can win or lose you a basketball game," Bell City coach Nate Wills said. "You think it happens over a long period of four quarters, but really when you have such a bad third quarter like that, it can really deflate what's going on for you."
Bell City saw a 36-31 halftime lead evaporate into a 49-39 deficit heading into the fourth quarter.
The Cubs shot just 1 of 15 from the field in the quarter.
"We couldn't hit a shot," Wills said. "And it kind of hurt our confidence a little bit. When that started going downhill, it kind of snowballed. Once you can't hit shots, it starts to affect the rest of your play and then you're playing catch up for most of the second half. We made some runs after that, but we never could string something together to really make a push and overcome."
The Rebels halftime adjustment contributed to the Cubs' offensive woes.
"Intensity," Richland coach David Reynolds said about his halftime adjustment. "In the first half, we do it all the time -- no defensive intensity. We made a few adjustments, but the kids really came out with intensity to shut somebody down, and I was really impressed with the third quarter."
Jesse Barnes got things going for the Rebels in the third. The junior guard buried one of his three 3-pointers in the game 5 seconds into the quarter to cut the Cubs' lead to 36-34.
Then 6-foot-10 Richard Forshee took over for Richland.
The man in the middle hit a layup to tie it at 36-36 and added another basket and a free throw to give the Rebels a 39-36 lead. Barnes added another basket and Forshee hit another layup to balloon the lead to 43-36.
"He's a load," Reynolds said about Forshee. "When he catches it down in there, he's so strong and so big. He's got good feet and good hands. He's a rock down there. He did everything well."
The Cubs finally got on the board four minutes into the quarter on a Jared Yates free throw, and Yates added a driving basket a possession later to make it 43-39, but the Rebels closed the quarter on a 6-0 run to take a 49-39 advantage into the fourth.
The fourth quarter saw the Cubs cut the lead to 56-53 with 4 minutes, 40 seconds left, but Richland's Lane Adam regained the momentum for the Rebels.
Adam converted back-to-back runners in the lane to make it 60-53, and after a Cubs basket cut their deficit to five, Adam hit an acrobatic shot in the lane to extend the Rebels' lead.
"He was attacking," Reynolds said about Adam. "Early on, he was settling for jump shots, but he started attacking and getting easy buckets."
It was a welcomed sight for Forshee. The big man constantly was seeing double- and triple-teams from the much smaller Cubs.
"They helped me out a lot," Forshee said about his teammates stepping up. "The second half, I didn't have as much pressure inside because when they hit those shots, it got me open and I had easy buckets."
The junior center finished with a game-high 26 points on 12-of-16 shooting.
Bell City made one more charge when it cut its deficit to 62-58 on one of Aaron Smith's five 3-pointers, but the Rebels put the game away.
"Those kids, I think, have really done a good job over the course of the year," Wills said about Richland. "They've gotten better."
RICHLAND (69) -- Jesse Barnes 17, Nicholas Daniels 8, Jeremy Davis 1, Richard Forshee 26, Skyler Harper 4, Lane Adam 13. FG 27. FT 12-17, F 13. (3-pointers: Barnes 3. Fouled out: Daniels)
BELL CITY (60) -- Michael Geiger 3, Shane Hughes 14, Josh Overbey 6, Aaron Smith 15, McKenzie Vires 5, Jerad Yates 17. FG 21. FT 10-14. F 16. (3-pointers: Geiger, Smith 5, Yates 2. Fouled out: none)