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Belpre boys roll past Wahama, 74-24

Photo by Jay W. Bennett Belpre’s Nick Godfrey (34) leaps to block the shot of Wahama’s Harrison Panko-Shields while teammate Connor Baker holds his ground during the Golden Eagles’ 74-24 blowout win Tuesday night versus the visiting White Falcons.

BELPRE — Connor Baker finished with 18 points and teammate Makiah Merritt added 15 more off the bench here Tuesday night as host Belpre drilled a short-handed Wahama squad, 74-24, in a Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division tilt.

First-year White Falcon head coach Ed Fry’s squad was down several players due to suspension and it showed as the Golden Eagles soared to a 42-7 halftime advantage.

Logan Adams tallied two of his seven counters from the charity stripe just 40 ticks into the affair as head coach Tyler Leasure’s Golden Eagles (1-2, 1-1) never trailed.

Evan Wells had three of his four steals in the first quarter and that included one which resulted in his own layup to make it 4-1.

Ethyn Barnitz finally got the White Falcons (0-1, 0-1) on the board 2:14 in on a foul shot, but BHS closed the quarter on a 17-2 run. Eric Dotson started the spurt with a deuce and Adams followed with a three-point play following his own steal. After Baker scored inside from a Nick Godfrey feed, coach Fry called his first timeout.

The short break didn’t stymie the hosts as Dotson followed with a putback. Harrison Panko-Shields, who led the visitors with eight points, a game-high eight boards and tied Wells with a game-high four steals, made it a 13-3 game when he scored inside at the 1:56 mark thanks to a feed by Abram Pauley.

However, PJ Alder canned a pair of baseline jumpers while Merritt and Baker converted two field goals apiece as Belpre led 21-3.

At 6:30 of the second, it was 24-5 Belpre after Jordan Harrington got a steal and a lay-in. Following a hoop by Dylan Cox for part of his eight markers, Tyce Church had a steal and a lay-in as the hosts continued to build their advantage.

WHS, which plays host on Friday to South Gallia, went a span of 4:50 between field goals. By the time Panko-Shields knocked down a 13-foot turn-around jumper at the 2:31 mark, it was 40-7.

The Golden Eagles, who shot 60.4% (32 of 54) from the floor and attempted just a trio of 3s, led by 50 at 72-22 with 3:05 remaining when Brady Shriver scored inside via a Church inbound pass.

“That will be a lot better ballclub when we see them again and we know that,” admitted coach Leasure, whose squad plays host Friday to Federal Hocking. “If you look at the grand scheme of the game, I’m really proud of our guys’ ability to execute what we told them to do.

“They really focused on playing as a team tonight and shared the ball. I’m pretty proud of that. I hope that carries over. We’ve got a tough game coming Friday.”

Wahama, which shot 20.4% (11 of 54) from the field, finished 0 of 14 from downtown.

Isaac Roush added six rebounds for the White Falcons while Godfrey and Merritt also grabbed six boards apiece.

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