Photo by Norv Coblentz
Your Prep Sports
WEST BRANCH – Using defense to create offense is a concept coaches often attempt to invoke on their teams.
On Friday Brett Schiele used the opposite formula to help West Branch sprint past Bellevue.
Schiele hit a pair of second-quarter 3-pointers and spearheaded a spirited West Branch defensive effort in a 58-33 win over Bellevue in a River Valley Conference cross-divisional matchup.
“It gives me a lot more confidence down the defensive end when I hit a shot,” Schiele said. “When I can come in and contribute on offense it helps me on defense too.”
Schiele had all 14 of his points in the final three quarters as West Branch (8-7, 7-7 RVC) won for the third time in its last four games.
The junior guard had a pair of 3-pointers during a 10-0 second-quarter run and gave West Branch a 31-16 halftime lead with a steal and layup with 49 seconds left in the second quarter.
His early offense sparked his strong defense that helped West Branch limit Bellevue to a season-low scoring output on 33 percent shooting.
“He got some open looks and knocked his first two down and then all of a sudden he’s thinking ‘Hey I’m going to play a little defense here and I’m going to get some easy ones’ and he did,” West Branch coach Tom Burger said of Schiele said. “He had a really good night tonight on both ends and I was glad to see that.”
Beau Cornwell had a game-high 23 points and Brady Lukavsky, Tanner Lukavsky and Ben Thompson all had seven as West Branch shot 47 percent from the floor.
It was the defensive effort that had Burger pleased as West Branch held an opponent to 36 points or less for the third time in four games.
Cade Daugherty scored 15 points to lead Bellevue (5-10, 3-9) but was held more than eight points below his season average as the Comets lost for the sixth time in their last seven games
“I was just really, really pleased with our defense tonight,” Burger said. “Daugherty is a heck of a player and he’s hard to defend and I just thought we caused them a lot of problems in the half court and I wish we could defend like this every night because it was so much fun watching our guys play defense with that effort.”
West Branch scored the final 12 points of the first quarter, the final six coming on Cornwell 3-pointers.
Cornwell beat the first-quarter horn with a deep triple from the top of the key that gave the Bears a 16-9 lead.
“There was a lot of adrenaline after that one,” Cornwell said. “I mess around in practice sometimes and shoot that shot and it paid off a little tonight.”
Schiele came off the bench to help the Bears put it away in the second quarter.
The 5-foot-10 junior started and ended a 10-0 run with 3-pointers as West Branch took a 26-11 lead.
“When I was shooting around before the game I felt really good and I just took it in stride without thinking about it and it went down,” Schiele said. “It helped to get those two shots to go in early.”
The 14-points were a season-high for Schiele who entered the game averaging 4.5 per game.
He had 10 points in a win over Mid-Prairie last week and Burger believes his offensive numbers are bound to pick up.
It was the defense from Schiele on Friday that caught his coach’s attention.
“He has been struggling with his shot but he makes shots in practice so we know it’s going to happen and tonight he stepped up and made shots,” Burger said. “He had a nice night at Mid-Prairie and he had another nice night tonight but I was most proud to see him play some hard-nosed defense.”
West Branch 16 15 18 9 – 58
Bellevue 9 7 13 4 – 33
West Branch (58) – Beau Cornwell 9-25 2-4 23, Ben Kyllingstad 0-0 0-2 0, Brady Lukavsky 3-4 0-0 7, Brett Schiele 6-7 0-2 14, Tanner Lukavsky 3-6 1-2 7, Ben Thompson 3-7 1-2 7, Ted Bridges 0-1 0-0 0, Jack Dragovich 0-1 0-0 0, Team 24-51 4-12 58.
Bellevue (33) – Trey Daugherty 0-3 2-2 2, Andrew Swartz 0-0 2-2 2, Paxton Felderman 1-5 0-0 2, Lucus Tennant 2-5 0-3 4, Cade Daugherty 6-8 2-4 15, Conner Michels 1-2 0-0 2, Trevor Hager 3-6 0-0 6, Nathan Carter 0-1 0-0 0, Team 13-40 6-11 33.
3-point field goals – WB 6-18 (Cornwell 3-12, B. Lukavsky 1-2, Schiele 2-3, T. Lukavsky 0-1); BEL 1-10 (T. Daugherty 0-1, Felderman 0-3, C. Daugherty 1-6). Rebounds – WB 29 (T. Lukavsky 7); BEL 31 (C. Daugherty 7). Turnovers – WB 6; BEL 16. Total fouls – WB 14; BEL 17. Fouled out – WB (Thompson). Technical fouls – None.