In Friday night Division IV Loramie won in a laugher, while Jackson Center bowed out to Tri-Village in a defensive slugfest that took overtime to decide.
Dayton – You cannot measure smiles that big – the one that Fort Loramie coach Corey Britton wore outside the Redskins’ locker room Friday at UD Arena.
His team had just won his first district title as coach, 68-42, over Lockland, a replacement team in the tournament for Cincinnati College Prep Academy, who beat Lockland by 30 last week, but had an ineligible player. You can’t do that!
You also can’t measure the thoroughness of preparation, and how well Britton’s Redskins played, grabbing an early 20-5 lead at the end of the first quarter, and cruising from that point to the end.
They were crisp and decisive on offense. They were energetic on defense. Lockland, it seemed, never had a chance.
“I’m so proud of my kids,” said Britton, with just a hint of emotion in his voice. “I don’t think you can even measure how proud I am of them. We got to this point last year and felt like we really let one get away from us. To come back tonight and get off to a great start, build a lead, and keep building on it, it was the accomplishment of a goal and that’s huge for us. We only have two seniors, so we’ve done this with a bunch of juniors and it’s just a monster accomplishment. There’s only 16 teams left in the state after tonight.”
Here’s how well they played.
Loramie shot 60% from the floor, on 24 of 40 shots attempted. Meaning, they got the ball to the rim often, and when they got there they capitalized. Conversely, they hit just 2 of 9 from three-point range…and in the category of needs more work, they hit just 18 of 32 from the foul line.
But, they held Lockland, an athletic team that wants to get out and run, to just 23.5%, and for the sake of brevity we won’t share their numbers from three-point line and free throws. Get it?
Dillon Braun continued to grow in the category of ‘leader’, scoring a team-high 19 points and setting the table for Austin Siegel (11 pts) and Tyler Siegel (17 pts), the latter also doing major damage to the unspoken shooting numbers of Lockland’s with his defense. Siegel blocked two shots, but redirected and altered many more.
They outrebounded Lockland by a margin of 43 to 27, and 34 of the 43 ‘boards were defensive, so there weren’t many second-chance points.
They played so well it’s bound to portend added confidence at the next level, the next game, when the Redskins meet Lima Perry next Tuesday at Trent Arena in the regional round of the tournament.
“I think any time you win it’s a confidence builder,” added Britton. “But it’s tournament time now so you just have to be better for 32 minutes, regardless of how it gets done. Whether you win by 1, or 25, it all counts the same at this point in the year.
“Shooting 60% tonight was a confidence booster, because any time you attack the basket, get downhill, and play inside-out it plays to our strengths. There was a time there during the season when we struggled when we weren’t doing that. But Tyler and Austin are our strengths and when we get the ball inside and let them finish early it stretches people out and allows more room for our guards to attack the rim.”
In the nightcap of Friday’s double-header there wasn’t much attacking the rim of any kind in what turned out to be a 39-33 Tri-Village win over Jackson Center…in overtime!
Featuring defensive-minded Jackson Center from the Shelby County League and offensive-minded Tri-Village of the Cross County Conference, the two teams settled quickly into a defensive standoff that saw 11 points scored in the first quarter – and just 21 points scored for the half.
The possessions were long, and probing, and the obvious strengths of both teams were pretty much negated by scouting and game planning. By reputation, they knew each other well.
Jackson’s leading threat, Brady Wildermuth, would finish the game with just 13 points.
Tri-Village point guard and mercurial leader, Gavin Richards, would finish with 12, well below his season’s average.
Both teams parried for advantage, but it was the play of role players, and in the case of Jackson Center, the insertion of freshman guard Christian Elchert (the son of coach Scott Elchert) that played a big part in how the game would finish.
For the second game in a row the Patriots’ Jonny Wilson would make a big three-point shot at a critical point that drew the praise later from his coach; and a teammate, Trey Frech, made an even bigger shot.
And a pair of three-point bombs by Gavin Booser…and a matching pair of ‘threes’ from the 5’7” Elchert (he may be 5’7″) gave Jackson Center a slim 11-10 halftime lead, a margin they extended to 23-18 by the end of three.
But the Tigers could not protect that lead, despite their defense, and saw Tri-Village get that bigger shot – a big three-pointer at the end of regulation from Frech (his only shot of the game) – that tied it at 29-29 and sent the game to overtime.
From there, in Austin Powers words, it turned weird.
On what looked like a missed toss of the ball by referee Dave Wortman on the overtime tip, TV’s Trace Couch clearly stole the tip and the Patriots scored easily on the opening possession. After a Jackson missed on the other end, TV came down and score again on a pair of free throws to take a 4-point lead. From that point Jackson Center never challenged. They were outscored 9-4 in the overtime period and lost, 38-33.
Scott Elchert of Jackson, and Josh Sagester of Tri-Village, are two of the best and most introspective coaches in the Ohio basketball, and each had his take on the path, as well as the outcome, of the game.
For Elchert, frustration over having a five-point lead with 90 seconds remaining in regulation and unable to hold that advantage for a win. That and the actual start of the overtime.
“We knew it would be a dog fight going in because both teams are capable of playing well defensively,” said Elchert. “And I think both teams did a good job defensively of taking the other’s strengths away. But look, we had our chances. We had the five-point lead with 1:28 remaining and we don’t secure the ball. We turned it over, they scored, and then they had the big three to tie.
“But it goes to overtime, and whew…man, oh man, and WOW! That was an interesting tip, they get the ball and score immediately, then score again on their next possession. And then we’re behind the eight ball for the rest of the overtime. It was tough tonight to overcome that against the way they were playing defense.”
Josh Sagester was just as appreciative of the closeness of the game, and felt fortunate to come away with the win.
“That wasn’t the tempo that we wanted play, for sure,” said Sagester. “But give it to Jackson Center, they have a way of doing that to you. They’ve played a lot of games that way and I told the kids in the locker room that we were prepared to play in multiple ways. But they did a really good job in the half court taking away things we wanted to do. We wanted to get into transition a little bit, but we were never able to do that. Gavin Richards was special for the way he handles the pressure and the athleticism he has to get off shots. And he also did a great job in defending Brady Wildermuth. And Jonny Wilson stepped up and made couple of free throws and a big shot for us, and defensively he did a dynamite job on Sosby. We were able to win that matchup, which was crucial.
“I feel lucky to win that game because we weren’t able to dictate tempo like we wanted. When you’re in a game where every possession matters there’s a lot of things that can go wrong. Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good, but I feel very fortunate to move on.”
And the shot by Trey Frech to tie and send the game to overtime?
“Really give credit to him because he’s a good perimeter shooter,” said Sagester. “We were struggling to score, struggling with matchups, so he didn’t get many minutes. But he’s got great character and he just the most of an opportunity. I’m really proud of him.”
Tri-Village won it shooting 43% for the game, 2 of 4 from three-point, and 16 of 32 from the line..
Jackson Center lost it…shooting 29%, 6 of 21 from three-point (28%) and 7 of 11 from the line (63%).
The Patriots, winners of the Division IV title in 2015, move on to the regional bracket at Trent on Tuesday where they’ll meet the winner of Southeastern and Cincinnati Christian Academy, the final game of Friday’s Div. IV triple-header.