Second half dooms Belding boys basketball against GR West Catholic

By Chip Burch • Last Updated 2:49 pm on Monday, December 30, 2013


Belding’s Nick Price (15) gets a shot off before Grand Rapids West Catholic’s Christian Rogalski (23) can block it during the two teams’ game Saturday. — Daily News/Chip Burch


BELDING — You wouldn’t have faulted Belding boys basketball coach Jeff Wierzbicki if he thought his team’s offense was still on Christmas break.

The Redskins had two offensive droughts in their game against Grand Rapids West Catholic on Saturday, but the last one was costly.

Belding scored only eight points in the second half – two in the fourth quarter alone – to lose to the Falcons 58-37.

“We’re not going to win any games where we score eight points in one half,” Wierzbicki said. “That’s the bottom line. We just weren’t able to put the ball in the hole.”

The first drought came right at the start of the game. Although Belding (2-2) had multiple good looks at the rim they were still down 14-1 until a three-pointer by Garrett Strotheide broke the run.

“It was us trying to find rhythm,” Wierzbicki said. “We weren’t into the game in the beginning.”

Belding’s Kole Hart, left, gets his shot blocked by Grand Rapids West Catholic’s Bryce Witham, right, as Charlie Widdering (22) gets out of the way during the two teams’ game Saturday. — Daily News/Chip Burch

But that three by Strotheide started a 12-2 Redskin run over the first two quarters that got them to within three of West Catholic (2-2).

“We had a great second quarter,” Wierzbicki said. “I think the tempo picked up. West Catholic made a few mistakes that went in our favor and our shots were falling. When our shots are falling everything kind of opens up.”

In fact, Belding took the lead going into halftime 29-27.

However, the fateful second half saw the Redskins make only two field goals – a three by Nick Price with 4:15 left in the third quarter and a jumper by Matt Feuerstein with 1:11 left in the fourth. Belding also went 3-for-4 in free throws in that half.

“Before I look at the tape, it’s the little things,” Wierzbicki said. “Our guys not coming off screens hard enough, or setting good enough screens. It’s not that our guys shoot the hoop, because our guys are great shooters. I think it just wasn’t our day.”

Maybe the Redskins were rusty, not having played since Dec. 17.

“You could say a little rusty,” Wierzbicki said. “But we showed signs of life there. I just think West Catholic played a great game in the scond half and they were able to put the game away early. Kudos to them.”

Belding got 13 points from Strotheide and 10 from Kole Hart.

The Falcons were led by Christian Bogalski with 18 points and Bryce Witham with 16.

Belding will get back into action in 2014 when they go to Cedar Springs Friday.

“I think it’s just going to come down to are we going to do the little things against Cedar (Springs),” Wierzbicki said. “Are we going to go out there and box out, are we going to go out there and rebound the basketball and try to find other ways to score the ball on offense? We’re going to work on that in the next couple of days and see what happens.”

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