Good teams find a way to win when they are not at their best.
The Bellevue Lady Red can attest to that, as poor shooting for the second time in two days slowed the Lady Red early. Bellevue's defensive pressure in the second half paved the way to a 55-45 win at Margaretta Tuesday in non- conference action.
The win improved Bellevue to 12-1 overall while Margaretta fell to 7-7.
"One way to survive a bad-shooting night is to get on the offensive glass and get two or three shots per possession," Bellevue coach Ryan Orshoski said. "I thought we battled hard there, but it's a win, three of them in four days, including no practice between games, so we'll definitely take it."
Bellevue hounded Margaretta into an uncharacteristic 27 turnovers, but many of the turnovers weren't forced.
"It was a lot of dumb passes and not coming to meet the ball," Margaretta coach Tim Tucker said. "It was not believing in our own ability to attack people, picking up the dribble when we didn't have to.
"There were many times when we had people beat, but felt a little contact or a little push and instead of choosing to keep playing, they panicked a bit and tried to make things happen."
Margaretta led for last 9:26 of the first half, as a 10-2 scoring run allowed the Bears to open up a 20-13 lead with 4:21 left in the half. Bellevue managed to score the last five points of the half, however, which proved to be a big momentum swing in cutting the deficit to 22-21 at halftime.
It was all Bellevue in the early going of the third quarter, as the Lady Red opened with a 20-8 scoring run to take a 41-30 lead with 3:05 left in the quarter. Five different players scored during the run, but it was Kristin Sochko coming up big with eight of the 20 points for Bellevue.
"I thought we played with more poise and control in the second half," Orshoski said. "I think the catalyst of that was the pressure we got in the full court. We kept them on their heels and we were able to get some looks off the press."
Margaretta pulled within 53-45 with 3:38 left on a basket by Emily Scheufler, but three straight opportunities to get closer were unsuccessful. Bellevue's Cory Hartley ended any hopes with a layup with 26.1 seconds left for the final margin.
"Bellevue is a nice team that hasn't had many close games, but we went almost four minutes without a basket or a real good attempt at one," Tucker said. "Most of it was bad decision making by us, but Bellevue executed very well."
Sochko led the Lady Red with a game-high 22 points and six rebounds on 9-of-17 shooting.
"Kristin absolutely stepped up and had her best game this year," Orshoski said. "When we get out and are able to turn teams over, that's when she is at her best, as a finisher."
Leslie Raifsnider added 13 points and seven rebounds for Bellevue. Margaretta got 16 points and eight rebounds from Shannon Coy and 15 points and eight rebounds from Sarah Weyer.
"Most of our mistakes are correctable and we'll correct them," Tucker said. "We may have to play someone like that later in the year come tournament time. We show we can beat anybody when we do things right, and we're not far off.
"I wouldn't want to play us in the tournament, I think we're getting better. When we get everyone 100 percent, and it's getting soon, we'll be fine. We might make a long tournament run this year with this group."
Margaretta hosts Willard (9-4) on Thursday in a rescheduled game while Bellevue is at Upper Sandusky on Saturday.
Leslie Raifsnider 4-5--13; Cory Hartley 2-0--4; Kristin Sochko 9-4--22; Marissa Kath 1-5--7; Erika Jordan 1-2--5; Michelle Carr 2-0--4; TOTALS 19-16--55
Shannon Coy 7-0--16; Kelsey Kromer 1-2--4; Emily Scheufler 1-0--2; Chey Morris 4-0--8; Sarah Weyer 7-1--15; TOTALS 20-3--45;
Bellevue 11 10 22 12 -- 55
Margaretta 19 9 14 9 -- 45
3-pt FG: Bellevue1 (Jordan); Margaretta 2 (Coy 2)
JV: Bellevue, 54-28