IONIA — Belding’s girls basketball team was having trouble with their offense and it showed Tuesday night.
The Redskins made only nine field goals and was 3-for-21 from the free throw line in a 61-23 loss to the Ionia Bulldogs Tuesday night.
“I have to give credit to them (Ionia),” Belding coach Brad Wilson said. “They shut us down in every facet of the game. So you have to give credit to them.”
The Bulldogs (8-5) shut down the Redskins (9-5) right off the bat, as Ionia held Belding to just three points on a Mackenzie Breimayer field goal and a Katie Wood free throw.
Meanwhile Bulldogs Taylor Bovee and Sarah Swartz combined to score 16 of the 19 first-quarter points.
“We didn’t run an offense,” Wilson said.
The game was all but over at that point, but Ionia coach Andrew Barr wasn’t quite buying that.
“I would like to say it was, but it’s a four-quarter game, and Belding has a nice record and they have a nice team,” Barr said. “We knew we had to play four quarters to beat them.”
A 19-5 second quarter in favor of Ionia made sure the game was over.
“We tried to do the things we could control,” Wilson said. “What can we control? We can box out and try to rebound. We could try to make smarter passes. We could try to play more physical defensively. We could try to run our offense and execute, close out better on wide-open shooters. We talked a lot about it, but when push comes to shove, we have to play better.”
The only time the Redskins outscored the Bulldogs was in the third quarter, when Belding held a 13-12 advantage there. But their only points in the fourth quarter was a Peyton Mount field goal.
“Obviously, Belding has a real nice record. They are a nice team,” Barr said. “We were able to get after them and played a pretty good defensive game and moved the ball well on offense.”
The Redskins didn’t help their own cause by missing 18 free throws.
“We’re collectively a 65-70 percent free-throw shooting team, which isn’t great, but tonight we barely had 15 percent,” Wilson said.
Wilson wasn’t about to blame a long layoff for the lackluster performance.
“Friday was a weird day, we had Saturday and Sunday off, we had a snow day on Monday and another snow day (Tuesday) so I don’t know if part of that was we were out of the funk, but Ionia had the exact same thing.”
Yet Barr didn’t mind the two snow days.
“With the way we played tonight, I say let’s not have school any day we play,” he said jokingly.
Bovee finished with 18 points and Anna Riccius added 14. The best any Redskin could do was seven from Mount.
Next up for Belding is a home game Friday against Coopersville, while Ionia travels to Fowlerville.
IONIA 61, BELDING 23
Belding 3 5 13 2 — 23
Ionia 19 19 12 11 — 61
BELDING (9-5) — Breimayer 2 0-3 5, Mount 3 0-1 7, Harig 1 0-5 2, Hunt 1 0-0 2, Wilker 0 1-4 1, Wood 2 2-8 6. Totals: 9 3-21 23. Three-point goals: Breimayer, Mount. Total fouls: 14. Fouled out: none.
IONIA (8-5) — K.Nickell 1 0-0 2, Bovee 6 3-10 18, Miller 1 0-1 2, Ketchum 2 3-4 9, Swartz 3 3-4 9, Riccius 6 2-2 14, Ciganick 3 0-0 7. Totals: 22 11-21 61. Three-point goals: Bovee 3, Ketchum 2, Ciganick. Total fouls: 19. Fouled out: none.