By CHUCK RIDENOUR
Daily Globe Sports Editor
It's been said close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. And Bellevue basketball games."This game was similar to many they've played this season," noted Shelby coach Troy Schwemley about the Redmen. "They've taken a lot of them into the fourth quarter." Friday night in the Dawg House was no different. The Redmen trailed by three with four minutes remaining before the Whippets made one last push en route to a 74-64 Northern Ohio League boys basketball triumph. After the visitors made it 59-56 on a hoop by Daniel Thatcher, SHS seized control of the game by scoring 15 of the next 16 points in a little more than 2 1/2 minutes with six different players scoring during the surge. "We made a number of big shots in the fourth quarter with a bunch of different guys contributing," said Schwemley as his club improved to 4-2 in the NOL and 9-4 overall. Shelby's decisive burst started with some inside-outside work. Trevor Young fired a pass to left of the basket to Brandon Schneider, who kicked it back out to Young who drilled the three-ball from the corner for a 62-56 lead. Following a Bellevue miss, the Whippets were racing down the floor when Brady Hill fired a pass to Lucas Bihl and he swished a trey to make it 65-56, prompting a timeout by the visitors with 3:08 left. The Redmen misfired again and Bihl rebounded. He directed an outlet pass to Schneider going up the right side of the floor. Schneider saw Hill running free to the basket and Hill collected the pass and laid it in for a 67-56 advantage with 2:36 to go. Another BHS miss was gathered by Bihl and he was fouled. His two free throws pushed the lead to 69-56 at the 2:25 mark. Davey Hipp then collected a missed free throw and was fouled. He hit both tries as the Shelby lead swelled to 71-56. The Whippets picked up another defensive board -this one from Corey Cox - and Schneider eventually got free on a move to the basket. He made the old-fashioned three-point play for the biggest lead of the night at 74-57 with 85 seconds left. "Different guys hit big shots," said Schwemley. "We played our best defense in the fourth quarter and didn't put them on the line until the final minute." SHS was dogged by foul difficulties during the first half, but managed to lead 22-18 after one and 39-37 at the intermission. "They were very aggressive against our pressure and got us into a little bit of foul trouble. This was a good win for us, considering were in foul trouble early and the number of free throws they shot (27)," said Schwemley. Down 18-14, Shelby roared back with eight unanswered points to close out final 45 seconds of the first quarter and highlighted by back-to-back three-pointers by Bihl for a 22-18 lead. Bihl's spin move in the lane lifted the Whippets on top 39-31 with 90 seconds to go before halftime. Three straight hoops by the Redmen sliced their deficit to 39-37 at the break. Hipp's driving layup and then a three-pointer to beat the buzzer at the end of the third period pushed SHS in front 54-47 entering the final eight minutes. "One of the keys was that we made a lot of shots when we needed to. When they started to come back, we were able to keep the lead at 3, 4 and 5 points," said Schwemley. "I would have liked to have seen us close out the second quarter." The winners received another well-rounded effort, fueled by Hipp and Bihl with 16 points apiece. Brennan Armstrong chipped in with 11 and Hill hit for nine. Schneider handed out six assists while Hipp had five. Bellevue, which falls to 1-5 in conference action and 4-9 overall, received double-figure outings from Dylan DeWitt (15), Kyle Geary (11) and Thomas Pressler (10). Seth Linder's seven rebounds provided the Redmen a 30-28 edge on the backboards. Leading Shelby on the glass were Cody Stine (6) and Young (5). The Whippets have a non-league contest this evening at home against Galion. BELLEVUE (64) Geary 4 2 11, Brummer 3 0 6, Thatcher 2 0 5, Pressler 4 1 10, DeWitt 5 4 15, Vickery 1 3 5, Hartley 3 0 6, Linder 1 4 6, Totals 23-55 14-27 64. SHELBY (74) Schneider 2 1 6, Armstrong 5 0 11, Cox 2 2 6, Hill 4 0 9, Young 1 0 3, Stine 3 1 7, Hipp 5 3 16, Bihl 5 2 16, Totals 27-62 9-12 74. Bellevue 18 19 10 17 -64 Shelby 22 17 15 20 -74 Three-point field goals - Geary (B), Thatcher (B), Pressler (B), DeWitt (B), Schneider (S), Armstrong (S), Hill (S), Young (S), Hipp (S) 3, Bihl (S) 4. Rebounds - Bellevue 30, Shelby 28. Turnovers - Bellevue 18, Shelby 15.