by Jodi Turner

  The Belmond-Klemme boys basketball team started the new year Jan. 5 against West Hancock after a long break.

  The boys started off with a two-point lead as Carson Lane drove in for a layup. Juan Gomez extended the lead with a three-pointer. The Broncos’ dominating defense held the Eagles to only four points for most of the first quarter. B-K added another six points on three-pointers by Alex Bartz and Jordan Meyer. WH pulled ahead with seconds left in the quarter, 12-11.

  In the second period, Bartz started with a layup to give the Broncos the lead again. The Eagles answered with a 12-0 run before two Meyer free throws with less than a minute left in the quarter added to the B-K total. The Broncos trailed at the break, 24-16.

  In the second half, it was a different game for the Broncos. Kaleb Carlson started with a steal and two points followed by Carson Lane being fouled as he headed in for a layup. He made 1-2 at the free throw line to pull B-K closer, 24-34. The Broncos went on an 8-0 run, including three- pointers from Meyer and Gomez. B-K trailed 38-30 at the end of the third quarter.

  It was all B-K in the fourth quarter. Gomez started the quarter with a three-pointer. Outstanding defense with numerous steals helped the Bronco offense. Meyer took the ball to the hoop, was fouled, and made both free throws. The Broncos trailed 40-35. Lane followed Meyer to the line, hit both his free throws, and the Broncos trailed by only three points, 42-39. With minutes left, Gomez hit a long three-pointer to tie the game and gave the Broncos the momentum they needed. Meyer and Lane each scored, giving the Broncos a five-point lead, 47-42. Strong defense helped the Broncos finish off the game with two more steals and five rebounds. The Broncos added another seven points and claimed victory, 55-45.

   The Broncos hosted the Wright County rivals Clarion-Goldfield-Dows on Jan. 7.

  The Broncos fell behind 7-2 after a two-point basket by Brian Duran. B-K fought back with scoring coming from Kaleb Carlson and Alex Bartz in the first quarter, the Broncos still trailed 20-13 at the end of the period.

  In the second quarter, Carson Lane would drive to the basket, get fouled, and make 1-2 at the free throw line. Carlson’s jump shot in the lane gave the Broncos another two points, but they still trailed 30-16. The Broncos struggled to find a rhythm, falling behind 41-20 at the end of the first half.

  After coming out of the locker room, Carlson’s layup gave the Broncos a spark. Tate Sander’s defensive rebound allowed him to drain a three-pointer to pull B-K closer, 45-25. The Bronco shooters continued to take advantage beyond the arc, with Bartz and Carlson hitting three-pointers, but the Broncos were still behind 48-31 at the end of the third quarter.

  The battle continued as the Broncos never gave up on defense. Bartz hit another three-pointer and an offensive rebound and put back by Carlson added five points for the Broncos who trailed 58-38 as the game ended.

  In the last game of the week, the Broncos hosted Osage Jan. 9.

  B-K started with the lead early, thanks to a jumper by Carson Lane. Kaleb Carlson scored two points as B-K led 4-3. Great defense helped the home team early with rebounds by Jordan Meyer and Carlson. On the offensive side, Alex Bartz and Meyer each hit big three-pointers to pull ahead 11-6. The Green Devils tied the game, 11-11, with seconds left in the first period.

  In the second quarter, free throws made the difference with Triston Yoder hitting both his charity throws. Meyer had a nice quarter, scoring with back-to-back-to-back three-pointers to give the Broncos a big lead, 26-22, at the end of the first half.

  To start the second half, Meyer continued to dominate beyond the three-point arc, hitting his fifth three-pointer. The Bronco offense continued scoring with Carlson hitting back-to-back jump shots, and the Broncos stayed ahead 33-28. B-K worked hard on both sides of the ball; there was great rebounding by Carlson, who collected five rebounds in the second half. Meyer ended the third quarter by hitting his sixth three-pointer as B-K stayed on top 40-36.

  In the fourth quarter, a great pass from Lane to Carlson led to two points, and kept B-K up 42-39. But the Green Devils battled for every possession. With three minutes remaining, Osage pulled ahead 47-46. The score went back and forth with Lane hitting a two-point shot and Carlson hitting both of his free throws. Up by three points, the Broncos needed to play tough defense to claim the victory in the final seconds, but a late foul beyond the three point line gave the Devils an opportunity to tie the ball game. Osage made all three free throws to send the game into overtime.

  Tied at 50-50, Carlson hit a lay-up under the basket that allowed the Broncos to pull ahead. The Green Devils went on a six-point run to pull ahead, 56-52. Yoder hit a baseline jump shot for two points to bring the Broncos within two points. With only five seconds left, the Broncos tried to steal the ball, but came up short and lost 56-54.