The Phoenix were just starting to spread their wings in the second half when Allie Belaire began dropping in key 3-pointers and Chantel Eells landed four of her six foul shots in the waning minutes of the game.

It was a total team effort that allowed Hornets (5-6) shake off Spruce Mountain (2-8) with a 49-41 victory in a girls’ basketball game Tuesday night.

Leavitt coach Dave Gerrish can attest to the Hornets’ strong bond of confidence that holds this team together.

“Our game is usually a game of runs,” Gerrish said. “We had a pretty good run in the fourth quarter. We defended well and made some stops, scored a few buckets and pulled away a little bit.

“Good team, good team — they got after it the whole game. I think it was a good matchup for both teams. I thought Chantel played real well, stepped up at the end. Sophie (Gilbert) is always good. We had a really good team effort today.

“We are a ‘we’ team and different players play well at different times.”

A case in point was Belaire, who delivered those 3-point bombs that made the Phoenix wince each time the ball passed through the rim.

Things got rough for the Hornets in the fourth quarter when Spruce Mountain junior guard Alex Bessey (game-high 15 points) tied the game at 31-31 when she made good on a three-point play. But she was only getting started. She hit one of her four 3-pointers and dropped another three foul shots to make the Hornets’ cringe.

But Bessey’s heroics weren’t enough, especially when Belaire landed three of her four 3-pointers and removed the Hornets from the red zone. Eells dropped in four foul shots and Leavitt could breath easier for the final moments of the game.

“I think they could have played better,” Spruce Mountain coach Chris Bessey said. “We had a game plan coming in. I don’t think we executed it very well, which gave Leavitt the lead. We spent the rest of the night fighting to get back, trying to get caught up.

“When we did get caught up, we relaxed a little bit. We know Belaire’s a shooter. There is really no excuse losing her when she is on the perimeter. We did that too many times.”

But Belaire was quite confident about taking those long-range shots.

“Yeah, I usually do,” Belaire said. “Usually, we don’t come out strong, and I really thought we came out really strong, and like the first half, we came out strong the second half. We just we outplayed them in most things.”

Belaire thought her team handled itself well when the Phoenix swooped down on the Hornets in the third quarter.

“They did, but we just kept our heads high and just played better than them,” she said.

“We’ve been working together really well,” Eells said. “We’ve been working on getting our offense to be where it should be, looking for the open shots. I think that’s what we did towards the end. We kept out composure and that’s what did it.”

Gilbert, who scored nine points, pulled down six rebounds in the second half.

“We just wanted this from the beginning, she said.

And the Hornets got that win in the end.


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