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Charleroi teaches Bentworth a AA lesson, 83-31

| Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

Charleroi welcomed Bentworth back into Section 5 AA basketball, handing the Bearcats a stunning 83-31 loss.

Bentworth (2-1) came into the game undefeated and two players averaging over 20 points per game.

However, Charleroi (1-2), playing its home opener, had its entire starting five together for the first time.

Bentworth moved up to play in Class AA for this season while the Cougars showed the Bearcats what it's like to play in the bigger classification, especially in the second half when Charleroi outscored Bentworth, 51-10..

“When they put us in this section we knew we had a shot at it. (Tonight) we sent a statement, we're going to contend,” Charleroi coach Bill Wiltz said.

“The injury bug got us the first couple of games and it was nice to put the first five on the floor and give them some substantial minutes together because they're tough when they play together.”

Make that the first six players.

The Cougar's sixth man, Brandon Bowman, was the leading scorer on the night with 18 points. Four starters also finished with double figures: Matt Indorante with 15, Jim Diaz with 14, Eric Johnson with 13, and Sheldon Linnman with 11.

“It was nice to see Bowman be our leading scorer with 18 coming off the bench. He works his tail off every practice, every game,” Wiltz said.

On the other side, Charleroi held Bentworth's leading scorers Chris Blackburn and Cody Levine to 11 and 10 points, respectively.

The game opened up with Charleroi on an 11-2 run. Bentworth then went on a 7-0 run of its own, with six points coming from Levine.

The Cougars then went on a 6-0 run to finish out the quarter up 17-9. Charleroi hit for 3-pointers in the first stanza.

“Charleroi jumped on us early, put pressure on us out front, and it looks like my guards froze up,” said a disappointed Bentworth coach Bob Kennedy.

In the second quarter, Bentworth played its best basketball of the evening. Blackburn, who was scoreless in the first quarter, scored the first six points of the quarter for Bentworth. The Bearcats pulled to within 24-19 with 4:11 remaining in the half.

It wasn't enough though as Charleroi kept up its torrid three-point shooting. Charleroi went into halftime with a 32-21 lead and would make 10 treys in the game.

About his team's awful second half, Kennedy said, “I think they gave up on me after halftime, but we're going to work until we find the right combination.”

Bentworth is back in action Monday at Carmichaels and Charleroi resumes play Tuesday at Beth-Center.

Naz Victoria is a freelance writer.

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