by Jodi Turner
The Belmond-Klemme boys basketball team traveled to Algona Garrigan to face the top- ranked Golden Bears Nov. 27. B-K’s players were significantly smaller than the tall Golden Bears, but that didn’t stop the Broncos’ defense.
Koty Kuhlers had a great quarter rebounding with two boards as Easton Barrus had two assists. B-K trailed 22-11 after AG hit a three-pointer to end the first quarter.
The Broncos went on their own scoring run as Barrus scored four points early, pulling B-K closer. Senior point guard Jacob Diaz continued to impress the crowd, dribbling between the oversized AG players and collecting four assists. B-K headed into the locker room trailing 37-17.
The Broncos came out on the attack, with Kuhlers and Barrus scoring four points quickly. The Golden Bears made adjustments and went on their own 8-0 scoring run. The Bronco defense continued to impress both crowds with big steals and rebounds, but the Broncos struggled to finish on the offensive side - AG had a record number of blocks against the shorter visitors. The Broncos finished off the quarter trying to play catch up, but trailed 55-27.
B-K continued to improve on the defensive side throughout the night and did their best to compete against the taller Golden Bears. B-K scored 13 points in the fourth period for their best quarter, but it wouldn’t be enough. The Broncos fell 67-40.
Barrus led all scoring with 12 points as Diaz led the team with five assists, seven points and four rebounds. Kuhlers had five rebounds and six points, followed by Carson Lane with three steals, two assists, four points.
The Broncos hosted Lake Mills Nov. 30 in the home opener.
The Bulldogs jumped to a shocking 9-0 lead as B-K just couldn’t get into a groove. Quick transitions and steals hurt the Broncos early, but it didn’t take long for B-K to adjust and come back quickly. The home team was only behind 18-12 at the end of the first quarter. Triston Yoder had four points to get B-K started, as Koty Kuhlers had a big three-pointer to bring the Broncos within six points.
The team had a good second quarter with three steals and good defensive rebounds, but the Bulldogs out-scored B-K again and led 34-19 at the break. Jayden Lane, Juan Gomez and Jacob Diaz each had two points in the quarter.
The second half didn’t start the way the Broncos wanted as LM went on an 8-0 run. A few adjustments from the coaches made a difference on defense. Kuhlers and Barrus each scored a bucket early, as Diaz continued to impress with rebounding, collecting three. As the quarter ended, B-K trailed 48-23.
In the fourth period, Kaleb Carlson had two big baskets to aid in the Bronco effort, as did Gomez (who would end up leading the team with seven points). B-K took the loss 59-33 but had much to be proud of with some new faces on the court.
Gomez led the team in points and had five rebounds, along with Carson Lane. Kuhlers led the Broncos in rebounding with eight, as Diaz had three assists and five points.