Bell City got 24 points from 6-foot-10 Will Bogan and 21 from sophomore Nick Niemezyk to fend off a pesky Puxico team and earn their second SCAA tournament title in three years.
Number 2 Puxico kept the crowd in the game by blistering the nets on 8-of
-12 shooting in the first quarter while building a 19-16 lead.
Top-seeded Bell City opened the second on a 8-0 run and never looked back while improving to 15-3 on the season.
Puxico was led by the play of juniors Jonathan Helm and Cody Clark who responded with 19 and 14 points, respectively, in the championship game.
While Puxico was never able to wrestle the lead away from Bell City, the Indians did stay within striking distance. Two free throws by Helm with 2:58 remaining in the third trimmed the deficit to 47-42.
A 5-2 run to open the fourth included two baskets by Helm and a free throw by Clark for a 55-51 score, but Bell City would begin to assert itself and slowly pull away for the 15-point win.
Bogan hauled down 16 rebounds on the night to go along with his 24 points.
Bell City's Niemezyk, Bogan, Blaine Stewart and Phillip Gross were selected to the 12-player All-Tournament team along with Advance's Jeremy Limbaugh.
In the third-place game, James Masters hit a 12-foot jumper straight way in the lane with 15 seconds to play to lift No. 4 Advance to a 63-61 win over No. 3 Dexter.
Alex Steil scored 20 for the Hornets, while senior Aaron Jackson knocked down a game-high 23 for the Bearcats. Jackson's night included six 3-
In junior varsity play, No. 1 Dexter claimed a 10th-straight title with a 69-47 win over No. 2 Advance. Bell City, seeded No. 5, defeated No. 6 Woodland for third place.