Bellevue’s Kelsey Ernst drives to the basket against the defense of Marquette Catholic’s Danielle Bender (25) and Blake Banowetz. Ernst scored 23 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in the Comets’ 62-39 victory Tuesday night. Bellevue improved to 13-0 on the season.

Kurt Ritzman/Clinton Herald
Clinton Herald

Marquette Catholic kept pace with undefeated Bellevue for the first quarter, but the Comets pulled away in the second quarter, even with star sophomore Ali Reeg sitting on the bench in foul trouble.

Reeg played just more than two minutes of the first half, but Bellevue took a 10-point lead into halftime and won 62-39 on Tuesday in Big East Conference girls basketball.

“Mariah (Steines) came in and stepped up for us, ran the offense,” Bellevue coach Tim Roth said. “We didn’t shoot exceptionally well, but we played solid defense. They all dug in, played solid defense and rebounded. They hung in there and got us a lead without Ali on the floor.”

Bellevue (13-0, 9-0 Big East) was helped by each member of its starting frontcourt recording a double-double.

Kelsey Ernst led the way with 23 points and 16 rebounds. She also led the team with four steals, two that she took coast-to-coast for layups in the first quarter to keep the Comets in front.

“We work on it, and I can see opportunities coming on,” Ernst said. “We work on it in practice. Our coach always says to hustle, so I go after the ball.”

One of the keys for Bellevue was getting transition opportunities out of its 3-2 defense.

“I thought we got more transition not off our press, but just off our zone,” Roth said. “We got some tips out. They shot some long shots that bounced out farther, and that gave us some runouts, too.”

Waiting near the basket on defense for Bellevue was 6-foot, 1-inch sophomore Carly Rubel. She blocked six shots in addition to her double-double of 10 points and 13 rebounds.

Mollie Knake also took advantage of the transition opportunities, scoring 10 of her 16 points on layups in transition. She also pulled down 10 rebounds.

To start the third quarter, Bellevue went on a 14-2 run to push its lead to 22 points. Reeg assists to Ernst and Knake and a jumper by Reeg keyed the run that put the game out of reach.

“Once we got going in the third quarter with Ali out there, we got a few fastbreak layups and things opened up a little bit,” Roth said.

For Marquette (4-6, 3-6), Danielle Bender was a large part why the Mohawks stayed so close in the first quarter. Bender scored six points, grabbed four rebounds and had three steals in the first quarter. She finished with 10 points, 10 rebounds and five steals.

The win sealed a sweep over their crosstown rivals, whom the Comets beat by nine in their second game of the season.

“Since they’re our rivals, this is a big game for us,” Ernst said.

“They beat us twice last year, and now we beat them twice,” Reeg said. “So things are turning around, but there are still tough teams out there yet.”


MARQUETTE CATHOLIC (4-6, 3-6) — Nicole Blum 3-13 4-9 10, Kelsey Tebbe 2-8 0-0 4, Theresa Koos 0-3 0-1 0, Justine Kalmes 0-1 0-0 0, Carly Jacobs 0-0 0-0 0, Danielle Bender 3-13 4-4 10, Bella Berthel 0-0 0-0 0, Sarah Lampe 3-16 2-2 8, Anne Nolting 1-1 0-1 2, Grace Sieverding 0-3 0-0 0, Blake Banowetz 1-3 3-4 5. Totals 13-61 13-21 39.

BELLEVUE (13-0, 9-0) — Emily Anderson 0-6 0-2 0, Lexee Sullivan 0-2 1-2 1, Katelyn Steines 0-0 0-0 0, Mariah Steines 0-9 3-10 3, Ali Reeg 3-7 0-0 7, Kelsey Ernst 8-17 7-9 23, Mollie Knake 6-12 4-4 16, Ashley Giesemann 1-5 0-0 2, Sarah Hammond 0-3 0-0 0, Carly Rubel 4-11 2-4 10. Totals 22-72 17-31 62.

Marquette    10    7    5    17    —    39

Bellevue    12    15    15    20    —    62

3-point goals — Marquette Catholic 0-9 (Tebbe 0-3, Lampe 0-2, Bender 0-2, Kalmes 0-1, Blum 0-1); Bellevue 1-9 (Reeg 1-4, M. Steines 0-3, Anderson 0-2). Total fouls — Marquette Catholic 22; Bellevue 20. Fouled out — Banowetz. Rebounds — Marquette Catholic 52 (Bender 10); Bellevue 68 (Ernst 16, Rubel 13, Knake 10). Steals — Marquette Catholic 11 (Bender 5); Bellevue 14 (Ernst 4). Blocks — Marquette Catholic 1 (Bender); Bellevue 9 (Rubel 6). Turnovers — Marquette Catholic 23; Bellevue 19.

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