BENTON -- The Kelly Hawks had high hopes for a win on Homecoming night, but those hopes were dashed by the solid defense and hot free throw shooting of the Delta Bobcats. Despite some early offensive success, the Hawks were defeated 62-37.
Kelly looked to be on the right track in the first quarter, shooting the ball well and leading by as many as six points halfway through the frame. However, the Bobcats came storming back and finished the period with a 17-10 lead, a lead that they would not relinquish for the rest of the game.
The second quarter was all about offense. Kelly's Dustin Crowden put up eight of his team-high 17 points, while Chase Crowden added 10 for the Bobcats. Despite posting their highest offensive quarter of the contest, Kelly was unable to match Delta's output and finished the first half trailing by 12.
Kelly cut the deficit to single digits early in the second half. However, the foul trouble that plagued the Hawks throughout the game prevented them from coming any closer. All five starters for Kelly finished the game with four fouls.
Many of the Hawks' second half fouls were the direct result of Delta's defensive effort. Kelly head Coach Nate Wills felt that his team picked up several unnecessary fouls immediately after committing a turnover.
"We've got to stay out of foul trouble," Wills said. "We've got to quit reaching. A lot of that stems from us picking up cheap fouls after turnovers."
Delta head coach Justin Simpher expressed the same sentiment in regards to his team's second half defensive effort. "What we did on the defensive end was what got us the lead and the win," Simpher said.
With 3:35 left in the third quarter and the Hawks trailing by only nine, Kelly's leading scorer Dustin Crowden was forced to the bench after committing his fourth foul.
Once the Hawks got into foul trouble, the Delta offense began attacking the basket and forcing contact.
"We knew who was in foul trouble, and we knew to go after them," Simpher said. "We did a good job of executing and getting to the line."
This strategy worked to perfection for the Bobcats. Delta shot 12 free throws in the third quarter alone, and hit 17-of-21 in the game. Kelly was not nearly as consistent in their free throw efforts, shooting only 32 percent from the charity stripe.
By executing at the line, Delta was able to extend their second half lead from nine points to as many as 26 points late in the fourth quarter.
The Bobcats were led by Chase Crowden and Shelby Kight, who both finished with a game-high 18 points.
With the win, Delta improved to 11-8 on the season. Kelly fell to 0-14.
DELTA (62) -- Teddy May 7, Cody Helderman 7, Collin Schabbing 3, Chase Crowden 18, Cody Naramore 5, Cody Schremp 4, Shelby Kight 18. FG 19 FT 17-21 F 15. (3-pointers: Helderman 1, Schabbing 1, Crowden 1, Kight 1. Fouled out: none.)
KELLY (37) -- Michael Kueykendall 2, Trey Drury 6, Trent Felter 5, Garrett Alsup 2, Michael Fisher 3, Dustin Crowden 17, Brandon Dambach 1, Sawyer Elfrink 1. FG 15 FT 6-19 F 22. (3-pointers: Crowden 1. Fouled out: none.)