Written by Scott Leigh
An intriguing matchup between two out of town teams tipped off at Sentinel Secondary at 2:15 on a rainy Saturday afternoon.
A number of mental mistakes leading to turnovers by Belmont gave an opportunity for Salmon Arm to take a 7 point lead late in the first quarter. Belmont had a clear size advantage in the low post which they needed to take advantage of to get themselves back into this game. BIG #00 on Belmont, whose last name “Bull” is an all-too-fitting last name, needed to play an important role in the low post if Belmont was going to get a W.
Belmont has been working in a zone defence for the majority of this game, which has given the Golds an opportunity to work the high-low game and take advantage of open shots from the outside. The defence was strong for both squads in the first half with contested shots and solid defensive rebounding. The result of the strong defensive effort by both teams was a low scoring first half. The score at half was Belmont 29 and Salmon Arm 27.
An exchange of buckets in the first few minutes of the second half gave Belmont a slight lead, but the Golds did not back down. The teams could have been fatigued as it was the second game of the day for both squads, or maybe that is just an excuse, but either way a number of turnovers on both sides led to fast break points in the third quarter. At the end of three Belmont held a one point lead.
Both of these teams were motivated to end the tournament with a W. The competitive spirit did not waiver in the fourth quarter with both teams executing down the stretch fighting for a win. There was lead change after lead change and it started to feel like this game was going to come down to the wire. Clutch baskets in the last few minutes allowed Belmont to take a lead and they never looked back.
Final score: Belmont 82 - Salmon Arm 68.