The Rebels could not size up with the Cubs' 6-foot-9 junior center William Bogan. Richland's tallest player at 6-2 was no match, and Bogan had a huge game with 20 points and 16 rebounds (eight offensive).
"Will (Bogan) used his big body well tonight," said Bell City head coach Brian Brandtner. "He really crashed the boards hard and was the difference in the first half."
The Cubs sprinted out early against Richland, going on a 9-0 run to start the game. Bogan was key in the first game as he scored six points and grabbed seven rebounds.
The Rebels had a difficult time with the full-court pressure exhibited by Bell City. Richland committed eight turnovers in the first quarter and trailed 23-7.
In the second quarter, the Cubs continued to crash the defensive and offensive boards. Bell City outscored Richland 22-8 in the quarter and had a 45-15 halftime lead.
For the first half, the Cubs had a 25-8 rebounding advantage over Richland. Bell City had 14 offensive rebounds in the first half, while the Rebels ended up with two. Bogan had a huge first half, scoring 12 points and pulling down 10 rebounds for the Cubs.
"I was disappointed with the way our kids played in the first half," said Richland head coach Jeff Jennewein. "We could have played better, but you have to give credit to an athletic and physical Bell City team. They are the better team."
In the second half, Bell City cruised the rest of the game and came away with a 74-35 victory.
"We have spent some time working on our offense," said Brandtner. "The guys are learning where on the floor they can get shots in our offensive scheme. We are learning to run the floor and execute. I was proud of the way the team played defense tonight. We were moving well and made them take some tough shots. We also did an excellent job of crashing the boards in the first half. Can't ask for a better effort from the guys."
Matt Ritch led Richland in scoring with 10 points. Cameron Whittaker had seven points and led the team with five rebounds. Tommy Harlan also had seven points and ended up with four rebounds. Nick Harris chipped in with six points off the bench.
The Rebels had 19 rebounds (seven offensive) for the contest. Richland committed 23 turnovers in the game, with only eight assists as a team.
"We played a better second half," said Jennewein. "The kids tried to execute on offense and I was encouraged that the team didn't quit. The guys played hard tonight, we were just matched up against a better team tonight."
Besides Bogan's huge game, Jeff Liggins also had a nice all-around game. Liggins had 10 points, five steals, four assists and two rebounds for the Cubs. Guard Nick Niemcyzk had 10 points, four assists, three rebounds and three steals.
Kerry Lasters scored 13 points and Philip Gross tossed in eight points for Bell City. Blaine Stewart led the Cubs with five assists, grabbed four rebounds and hit a 3-pointer for his three points on the night.
Bell City tallied 36 rebounds (14 offensive) as a team against Richland. The Cubs passed the ball effectively and recorded 16 assists as a team, with 10 turnovers. Hard-nosed defense allowed Bell City to accumulate 15 steals in the game.
"The team played well tonight and it was a good win," said Brandtner. "We got out in the running lanes and ran the fast break well tonight. The guys still have to learn to utilize the skip pass more, but we can work on that in practice."
Bell City won the junior varsity game over Richland, by a score of 55-52 in overtime.
Richland (4-8) is back in action on Tuesday night, as the Rebels will entertain the Gideon Bulldogs. Junior varsity game slated to start at 6 p.m.
Bell City (9-3) will travel to Puxico on Tuesday. Tip is set for 6 p.m. for the junior varsity contest.