NEW SITE – Kat Reno is eager to show what she can do.

The freshman reserve had her best game of the season, scoring 19 points as No. 6 Belmont cruised past New Site 73-48 in a Division 1-2A contest on Friday.

Reno entered the game early in the first quarter and had an immediate impact. She had 13 points by halftime, at which point Belmont (17-4, 4-0) led 45-23.

“I wanted to be the leader,” said Reno, who also grabbed nine rebounds. “I want to show as a freshman that I can be a leader.”

Reno’s performance is a testament to the Lady Cardinals’ scoring depth. Mary-Grace Storment and Kalea Koger had quiet offensive nights, but that didn’t matter. Freshman point guard Carlie Brock had 20 points, while senior Rayleigh Guin pitched in 17.

Belmont shot 50.8% from the field and took a lot of high-percentage shots thanks to Brock’s forays into the paint.

“A lot of people think that if you stop one or two scorers – and I think that was New Site’s emphasis tonight on defense – if you stop one or two then you can beat Belmont,” said Belmont coach Chris Higginbottom. “Tonight just proved we’re a solid team. We’re balanced, and we had other people that really stepped up and scored.”

New Site (19-8, 2-1), conversely, has a two-pronged scoring attack with Lily Whitley and Chloe Chism, and that has worked well most of the season. Whitley had 29 points, but Chism was held to six.

“I was proud we took one of the weapons away,” Higginbottom said.

The Lady Royals shot 37.5% from the field – including 4 of 18 from 3-point range – and committed 17 turnovers. Belmont committed nine turnovers, including just one in the first half.

Brock scored 10 of her points in the first quarter, as Belmont raced out to a 23-10 lead. New Site defenders had trouble staying in front of her, which was the chief reason the Lady Cardinals scored 36 points in the paint.

“She controls the pace of our game and whether we need to play fast or slow,” Higginbottom sad. “She does a really good job being our floor general.”

(B) New Site 57, Belmont 52: Daniel Wildmon scored 18 points and Dallas Pounds added 15 to lead New Site. Belmont was paced by Ty Ramsey’s 20 points.

Three-Pointers

Turning Point: Belmont led 23-10 after one quarter, and the rout was on.

Point Makers: Brock shot 8 of 17 from the floor, while Reno was 9 of 12.

Talking Point: “They’re just so good offensively. They’re picked to win it for a reason.” – New Site coach Byron Sparks

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