Defense rules in CC-Crystal win over Belding


By Chip Burch • Last Updated 9:40 am on Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Carson City-Crystal’s Mitch Schneider, left, tries to drive around Belding’s Brendan Zuver during the teams’ game Tuesday night.

CARSON CITY — The boys basketball game between Carson City-Crystal and Belding wasn’t an offensive gem, but the two coaches saw something else in that game.

It was defense.

The Eagles got enough defense of their own to beat the Redskins 39-34 Tuesday night.

“The story of the game is if you defend, you’re going to give yourself a chance to win the game,” CC-Crystal coach Ryan Fritz said. “We got up early and never let go of the lead.”

The game started out with CC-Crystal senior big man Brann Schmitt scoring 12 of the Eagles’ first 14 points, and all but two of the Eagles’ 12 first-quarter points.

“We fed him and he scored and that’s how we want to start games,” Fritz said. “That’s how we want to finish games, too.”

Meanwhile, the Redskins (1-3) made only two field goals for a 12-6 deficit after one quarter.

“We had a tough shooting night,” Belding coach Jeff Wierzbicki said. “We had good looks. Our offense did what we needed to do but we couldn’t knock a shot down.”

It didn’t help Belding’s cause when senior guard Bendan Zuver was hit with two quick fouls and had to spend most of the first quarter on the bench.

Belding’s Garrett Strotheide, middle, puts up a shot between Carson City-Crystal’s Brann Schmitt, left, and Mitch Schneider during the teams’ game Tuesday night.

“Zuver is a big part of our offense in the sense that he can penetrate. He knows when to dish and he knows when to shoot it,” Wierzbicki said. “When that happened it hurt.”

Things didn’t get much better in the second quarter, as the two teams combined for seven field goals.

“We didn’t do a very good job executing in that second quarter,” Fritz said. “I think defensively that’s where we won the game.”

Leading 20-12 at halftime, the Eagles held the Redskins off the scoreboard for the first 3:41 of the third period, but managed only three field goals to four for Belding and led by only six with a quarter left to go.

But CC-Crystal led by as many as eight late in the game and only a buzzer-beating three-pointer from Garrett Stotheide made the score look close.

“Defensively if you hold a team to 34 points in varsity boys basketball you should win,” Fritz said. “I think both coaches would tell you the ball wasn’t going in for either of us. I think we out-rebounded them (Belding) and we executed just well enough to complete the win.”

“If we can hold a team to 39 points I’m Happy,” Wierzbicki said. “Usually we come out on the other end if we hold a team to 39 points.”

Schmitt finished with 18 points, while Spencer Harwood added 10 to the win for the Eagles.

“No. 10 (Schmitt) got some easy looks early that we didn’t defend correctly,” Wierzbicki said.

Kole Hart was the only Redskin in double figures with 11.

Belding will have its final game of 2012 Friday when they go to Coopersville for the O-K Blue Conference opener. CC-Crystal will face former Central Michigan Athletic Conference foe Portland St. Patrick Friday.

CC-Crystal 39, Belding 34

Belding    6    6    10    12    —    34
CC-Crystal    12    8    8    11    —    39

BELDING (1-3) — Zuver 3 0-0 7, Price 2 0-0 5, Sutherland 1 2-2 4, Stotheide 1 0-0 3, Hart 5 0-0 11, Wittenbach 1 0-0 2, Wilker 1 0-0 2. Totals: 14 2-2 34. Three-point goals: Zuver, Price, Strotheide, Hart.  Total fouls: 18. Fouled out: none.
CC-CRYSTAL (3-1) — Clark 0 0-1 0, Haines 2 0-0 5, Schmitt 9 0-0 18, Schneider 1 2-6 4, Gage 4 1-1 10, Harwood 1 0-1 2. Totals: 17 3-9 39. Three-point goals: Haines, Gage. Total fouls: 3. Fouled out: none.

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