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Wildcats use big runs to devour rival Knights
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NEW GLARUS - Often, the better team wins a basketball game. Sometimes, the better team wins big.

Thursday night, Belleville, 11th-ranked in Division 3 in the Coaches Poll, used its size and skills to put away New Glarus, 55-29.

"It's humbling. But that's good because we get to see what's out there," Glarner Knights head coach Braden Rindy said. "They are a little quicker than us, a little taller than us so it's hard to match up. The one thing we have to do is probably show a little bit more heart. I don't think we were ready for either their height or their quickness."

In the third quarter, the Wildcats took over nearly from the start. The Knights scored the first bucket of the half just 25 seconds into the third. It was the last score by New Glarus until the 3:27 mark in the fourth quarter - a drought of just over 12 minutes. In that same time, Belleville dropped 21 points on the home team.

"When they go off on a run like there, making just about every shot they put up, there is almost nothing we could do. It was a tough night all long," Rindy said.

After sending in his youth squad, Rindy told his girls to "show us what you've got." The underclassmen responded by outscoring the Wildcats 12-6 over the final 3:27 of the game.

Junior Lauren Narveson hit a 3-pointer to spark the scoring and continued her solid play on the defense, forcing three turnovers in the waning moments of the contest.

Sophomore Alycia Atwell, who converted a late 3-point play, found freshman Cassie Feller twice under the basket and Narveson scored on a putback.

"They went out there and fought hard. They definitely showed some heart," Rindy said.

After winning two of its last three games, New Glarus came into its rivalry matchup with Belleville confident.

"We thought we would definitely give (Belleville) a run at least," Rindy said. "They're quick start really just took the wind out of our sails. It was hard fighting back."

Through the first 3 minutes, 35 seconds of the game, the Knights kept it within a point, trailing just 4-3. A 15-0 run by the Wildcats over the next three minutes put New Glarus down big.

"I was very impressed with (Belleville). They're bigs were great from the outside, hitting turnaround jumpers and 3s. Tonight they could make everything and we couldn't. So it was tough," Rindy said.

Belleville outscored New Glarus 8-7 in the second and held a 28-15 lead at the half.

New Glarus tried to come up with a gameplan against Belleville, which including pump fakes in the post by Atwell and senior Tanya Gruter. It was a plan that Rindy said he thought was working until the second half.

"We worked all week on shot fakes trying to draw the fouls, and it worked in the first half - we got into bonus right away," Rindy said.

Atwell finished with eight points and six rebounds and Gruter had four points and seven rebounds. Narveson had seven and Feller had six.

For Belleville, Natalie Manion had 12 points, Quinn Rear 11, and Olivia Ace and Kaitlyn Murphy each had nine.

The Knights (5-8, 3-2 Capitol South) host Columbus (9-2) Feb. 2. Belleville (12-1, 5-0) hosts Lodi (5-6) the same night.