BELTON — The first half of Tuesday night’s boys basketball game between Belton and Ellison gave the Tigers a lot to be proud of.
During a season that coach Jason Fossett has marked for rebuilding and laying the foundation for a successful future, the Tigers kept pace with one of the top teams in District 12-6A and found themselves in the hunt at halftime.
The second half was a different story as Ellison raced to a 15-point third-quarter lead and continued to pull away for a 69-44 victory over Belton at Tiger Gym. The Eagles clinched a playoff spot with their victory.
Belton (12-18, 4-8) fell behind 37-26 midway through the third quarter but used a 6-0 run to cut the deficit to 37-32 with just more than 4 minutes remaining in the period. The Eagles (23-7, 10-3) responded and then some with a 29-6 run spanning the next 7 minutes, fueling a 32-12 scoring advantage over the final 12 minutes of the game.
Ellison led 24-21 at halftime.
“We played just about as well as you can against a team like that in the first half,” said Fossett, whose team travels to face Waco on Friday. “We knew that Ellison would regroup and come out ready to play in the second half. We just had no answers against them. These are two teams that are at different places. We’re building to achieve what Ellison has. So to be able to keep up with them in the first half, I was extremely proud of the effort.”
Tyson Pine had a team-high 11 points for the Tigers, and T.J. Johnson finished with 10. Kayden Downs added seven points, and Mario Lockett chipped in six.
Ellison’s Chandler Sutton scored 21 points, including five 3-pointers that all came in the second half. Amir Davis finished with 13 points, and Shamir Bogues and Trendon Stewart added 12 each.
TUESDAY'S 12-6A BOYS
- Copperas Cove 55, Harker Heights 48
- Ellison 69, Belton 44
- No. 16 Shoemaker 65, Waco Midway 53
- Waco 59, Temple 49