By Tony Adams, Sports Editor
The Belton Tigers’ basketball team traveled to Hewitt on Monday to start pool play against Leander Rouse and God’s Academy at Midway Middle School.
In the first game, the Tigers led 30-24 at halftime. Rouse ripped out of the halftime locker room on a 11-3 run and pulled away in the fourth quarter to win 55-48 over the Tigers.
Jackson McGowan got the scoring underway for the Tigers with a field goal 55 seconds in and received a feed from Jordan Russell in the paint to pull Belton to within two points at 6-4. After Rouse’s 8-2, two minute run, Russell took a feed from Coby Potvin and had a steal and a layup to pull the Tigers closer. Potvin’s three-pointer and McGowan’s jumper gave Belton its first lead, 13-12, with 1:39 left in the first quarter. The teams traded three-pointers to closed out the first quarter with Belton leading 16-15.
McGowan led the scoring off for the Tigers and Potvin’s three-pointer gave the Tigers at 22-18 lead with 4:41 left in the first half. Russell, Potvin and Lane Holmes all hit field goals to close out the quarter, as Rouse attempted to keep pace. The Tigers led the game by six points at halftime.
The Raiders came out and blitzed the Tigers in the second half, keeping Belton from hitting a field goal for 7:17 in the third quarter. McGowan and Carson Hammond scored the two field goals in the quarter, Rouse outscored Belton 14-7 and took a 38-37 lead into the fourth quarter.
Hammond’s two free-throws put the Tigers back in front and McGowan’s three-point play put Belton up by four, 42-38, with 6:27 to play. The Raiders went on a 17-6 to close out the ballgame to drop the Tigers by seven.
The defeat left the Tigers at 0-1 and left the Tigers to think about the next opponent, God’s Academy. The game took place some five hours following Belton’s game with Rouse.
The Tigers trailed the Ambassadors 24-23 at halftime. Belton recovered to win the game 49-40 to wrap up day 1-1 in pool play, with Wharton on deck for an 11 a.m. game on Tuesday.
We will bring you the outcome of pool and bracket play in next week’s Belton Journal Sports Section.