By Carlo Jimenez ’19
The Bellarmine Bells varsity basketball team defeated Archbishop Mitty 71-66 at home on Senior night.
For the Bells, it was a game without much meaning in the standings as the Monarchs had already clinched the WCAL title last week against Serra, but that didn’t stop either team from playing like everything was on the line in this storied rivalry.
Before the game started, the Bells already seemed to be behind. Constantijn Cole ’20 and 6th man Cole Troedson ’19 were both out due to injuries they picked up against Riordan.
The Bells started 5 seniors in honor of senior night and it was back and forth between the Bells and Monarchs through the first 16 minutes. Mitty walked into the locker room holding a 31-28 lead after Devan Sapp buried a three as time expired. Quinn Denker ’20 lead all scorers at the half with 12 points.
Although the Bells were finally pulling away in the third behind terrific shooting from Gio Saso ‘19, Gio talked about half time adjustments. “We [needed] to push the ball in transition and Quinn did a great job of getting the ball out and I know if I can run my lane and get my feet under me I can hit shots.” That was exactly what the senior did as he knocked down 3 in a row for the Bells.
Meanwhile, Marcus Green kept the Monarchs in the game. Green went for 9 in the third quarter and 14 on the night as he was able to keep the Monarchs at bay with the Bells in the third.
Compared to the last matchup between the Bells and Monarchs which ended in a 40-44 score, this game was a shootout at Patrick Wayne Memorial Valley Gymnasium. Heading into the final 8 minutes the stage was set as the Monarchs lead 53-51.
In the 4th it was the Kiran Kruse ’19 show as the only 3-year varsity player lead the way with 10 points in the Bells 20 point outburst in the 4th. Kruse mentioned how his teammates created his success. “Credit to my teammates for finding me. I had a lot of great looks from catch and shoot. Quinn did a great job today handling pressure and finding teammates.”
The Bells finished the job with defense down the stretch and captured the 71-66 victory thanks to excellent free throw shooting. Bellarmine won their last game of WCAL for the 8th season in a row and split their season series with the Monarchs for the 3rd straight season. As for seniors Nick Grassman ’19, Cole Troedson ’19, Ryan Troedson ’19, Jackson Williams ’19, Gio Saso ’19, Scott Nelson ’19, and Kiran Kruse ’19, they finished their last game at Bellarmine with a win.
The Bells will most likely be the 3rd or 4th seed in the CCS Open Division and will probably come across the Monarchs once again in the playoffs.
Saso commented on what the Bells have to do down the stretch to continue their success. “[We won] this game [and] we know it is going to propel us into CCS and we know that’s where we have to play our best basketball.”