BELDING — Belding’s girls basketball team had a complete game for the first time in a long time, noted coach Mike Nelson.
The result was a 77-33 win over the Saugatuck Indians Wednesday night at Redskin Arena.
There were a lot of different facets to the game that were noted by Nelson. Some of those included 11 field goals from three-point range, every player scored and the win broke a four-game losing streak in grand fashion.
“They recovered from (Tuesday) night so well,” Nelson said of his team’s loss to Cedar Springs. “To get beat by 28 and to come out and play like this, I’m really proud of them.”
Belding (5-14) started shooting early and often, ending up 29-of-79 from the field.
“I told them (Belding) the more looks we get, let it go,” Nelson said. “(Wednesday night) they got good looks for themselves.”
The Redskins led 17-10 after the first period and 36-21 at the half. But the second half was all Belding, running up a 41-12 second half.
“We switched up our defense at halftime,” Nelson said. “We played straight man in the first half and we went to a 1-3-1 zone in the second half. We ended up making a run because they couldn’t handle the zone defense.”
The switch in defense led to 21 team steals for Belding. The offense, meanwhile, was the story of the game.
“We were running an offense where we we’re getting dribble penetration,” Nelson explained. “We’d get a kickout, and we’d make the extra pass. Girls were catching the ball ready to shoot. As we kept hitting them, everybody just felt, ‘I can hit the three.’ It started with good penetration, good kickouts and smart basketball.”
Leading the charge for the Redskins was Mackenzie Briemayer with 18 points and 10 assists, including four from outside the arc. Stefanie Harig added 16 points before fouling out.
Nelson wasn’t sure what finally got into his team to get them to play so well.
“I just think it’s one of these things with these kids,” he said. “They’ve been coming all year. We’ve seen it in stretches where they played really well. But we haven’t seen it over the long haul. (Wednesday night) they played 32 minutes of solid basketball. With a young team we don’t know what flips the switch. It just felt good (Wednesday night).”
But he knew what specifically keyed the offensive surge.
“I think one of the big things (Wednesday night) for us was we brought a lot of intensity to the court,” he said. “The kids came after them (Saugatuck) right out of the gate. The other thing was we had great ball movement. It was the best ball movement all year. The kids really trusted each other (Wednesday night). It was a classic case of team basketball.”
Belding’s final game of the season will be at home Friday against Coopersville before opening district play at Tri County Monday against the host Vikings.
BELDING 77, SAUGATUCK 33
Saugatuck 10 11 7 5 — 33
Belding 17 19 23 18 — 77
SAUGATUCK (12-7) – Francis 0 0-2 0, VanLoon 3 1-3 7, Fisher 1 0-0 3, Winwiecki 0 2-2 2, O’Brien 0 1-2 1, Fuller 4 4-12 12, Schultz 2 4-8 8. Totals 10 12-29 33. Three-point goals: Fisher. Total fouls: 12. Fouled out: none.
BELDING (5-14) – Briemayer 6 2-3 18, Alkire 2 0-0 4, Harig 7 1-1 16, Holyfield 2 0-0 5, Hunt 1 1-2 4, Bannister 2 0-0 6, Batzer 4 2-2 10, Reminga 3 0-0 6, Wekenman 2 2-3 6. Totals: 29 8-11 77. Three-point goals: Breimayer 4, Bannister 2, Batzer 2, Harig, Holyfield, Hunt. Total fouls: 21. Fouled out: Alkire, Harig.