Morgan’s double-double not enough

BELLEVILLE – Mollie Morgan scored 12 points and pulled down 19 rebounds for Belleville Mennonite, but the Thunder still dropped a girls basketball game to Fannett-Metal Monday night, 53-34.

“She’s been doing exceptional on the boards,” Belleville Mennonite coach Ally Zook said. “Some of her shots weren’t falling like they have been. She’s doing very well on the boards.”

The Thunder also got 11 points from Meredith Spicher, including two 3-pointers.

Fannett-Metal employed a full-court press early to cause Belleville Mennonite issues and drop the Thunder into a quick 8-0 hole.

“We didn’t start off as quick as we have been,” Zook said. “It took us a couple minutes to get going but then we were able to get some buckets.”

Another major issue for the Thunder was the play of Fannett-Metal forward Melissa Zeger. She finished with 21 points and 21 rebounds and had a double-double in both halves, including 11 points and 12 rebounds in the opening half.

“We held her well when we were on defense,” Zook said. “Once the ball went up and she got the rebound, she always got the putback. It’s tough against her to get any kind of rebound.”

Belleville Mennonite got on the board when Leah Peachey made a free throw with 3:29 left in the first quarter.

After Amanda Laye made a three for Fannett-Metal, Meredith Spicher made two free throws and Grace Peachey hit a jumper with to make it 11-5 after the opening quarter.

The second quarter started with two long possessions for Fannett-Metal, both of which ended with points to give Fannett-Metal a 16-5 advantage.

Zeger scored five straight points and grabbed four rebounds over a minute and a half stretch where Belleville Mennonite didn’t possess the ball.

When it did get the ball back, Grace Peachy made a jumper, but Zeger answered right back to make it 18-7 Tigers.

Following Liz Swanger’s jumper that put Fannett-Metal up by 15, Belleville Mennonite answered with a 6-0 run, sparked by Morgan.

She got a rebound and took the ball the length of the court, was fouled on the drive and converted the old-fashioned 3-point play.

She made a jumper on the following trip down the floor to reduce the deficit to nine with 1:45 to play in the second quarter.

Spicher made her first 3-pointer of the night with 6:10 to go in the third quarter to get the Thunder back to within 10 points.

But Fannett-Metal went on a 9-0 run over the next 4:30 before Spicher made another three to end the run.

That run was the nail in the coffin for Belleville Mennonite and the Thunder got no closer than 16 the rest of the way.

“We did a lot better than we did last time against them,” Zook said. “I think we knew more of what to expect, especially with (Zeger).”

Belleville Mennonite (1-12) will be in action again Thursday when it travels to Columbia County Christian.