BELLEVUE – Bellevue coach Ed Rich is worrying less and less about the degree of difficulty for Kyle Geary’s shots.
That’s because they keep going in. Geary scored a game-high 16 points Thursday as the Redmen defeated Port Clinton 64-27 in a nonleague matchup.
“He’s had three good games,” Rich said of Bellevue’s high scorer in each. “He’s fearless. There’s not a shot he doesn’t like. He’s getting smarter. He’s just a gamer.”
Geary recorded a steal under the basket and banked in a shot while being knocked down by a foul. He converted the three-point play and added two 3-pointers in the game.
“We have two returning lettermen,” Geary said of himself and Seth Linder. “Leadership is first. If I’m open, I’ll shoot it. It’s my favorite.”
Linder is doing what he can to help the team in advance of shoulder surgery. Linder scored two points in each quarter.
“He’s planning on surgery in the middle of January,” Rich said. “It’s been rescheduled a couple times. He watched the first few practices thinking he wouldn’t play. He was cleared until the surgery. He wanted to be part of the team. It’s nice to have him.”
Owen Hartley had 14 points and freshman Trey Ruhlman 11 for Bellevue (2-1). Ruhlman drove without hesitation for eight points in the third quarter and added a 3 early on.
“His basketball IQ is really good,” Geary said of Ruhlman. “He’s a great athlete, but his IQ makes him that much better.”
Bellevue led 21-8 after the first quarter and by 26 after three.
“One of our keys was to get off to a good start,” Geary said. “That’s what we did, and we didn’t look back.”
The Redmen allowed three points in the fourth quarter and four in the second. Rich is in his first year as Bellevue’s coach.
“From the start there’s been pride in these kids,” Rich said. “Bellevue has great tradition. These kids want to be coached, and they want to win. We showed up and played big.”
Skyler Cook led Port Clinton (1-2) with 12 points and was active on defense.
“Cook had (one-third of) our points at the half,” Redskins coach Von Graffin said. “He belongs on the floor. Those are the kids who will play. Those who hustle and get 50-50 balls and stick their nose in there. We’re not getting it done. It starts with me. I have to be myself. I thought I lost some kids last year. It’s not about trying to nurse them through. It’s time to be old-school again.
“We played like we practice. We don’t make each other better in practice. We’ve had some guys injured. That’s not an excuse. We haven’t started (games out) well.”
Drew Fodor missed Thursday’s game with an injury for the Redskins.
“Our vocal leader has been out for two games, and it’s obvious,” Graffin said. “He communicates, and kids look up to him. We hope to have him back Saturday. We need him.”
Port Clinton 8-4-12-3-27
Port Clinton: 3-point goals: 3. Scoring: Kaleb Mizener 0-1-1, Brandon Moore 2-0-5, Nathan Stubblefield 1-0-3, Joey Brenner 1-0-2, Skyler Cook 5-2-12, Stone Scott 1-1-4. Totals 10-4-27.
Bellevue: 3-point goals: 6. Scoring: Kyle Geary 5-4-16, Trey Ruhlman 4-2-11, Collin Hinojosa 3-0-7, Dakota McPeak 1-0-2, Owen Hartley 6-0-14, Seth Linder 4-0-8, Drew Buchanan 1-2-4, Mitch Wells 1-0-2. Totals 25-8-64.