OTTAWA — Tournament basketball can be a little nerve racking for those who haven’t experienced it before.
Grove had just two players in the lineup Wednesday night that had
played in a tournament game before and it showed early. Once the
Bulldogs were able to shake those early nerves, they looked like a
veteran team. And it was Cory-Rawson that watched the Bulldogs grow up
quickly as they fell to Grove 60-23 in a Division IV sectional
semi-final at Ottawa-Glandorf.
The Bulldogs (13-9) advance to the
sectional finals Friday night to face Leipsic (12-11) around 8 p.m. at
O-G. Leipsic advanced to the sectional title game with a 62-43 win over
McComb in the first game Wednesday night.
Columbus Grove scored
the first points of the game before the Hornets took a 5-2 lead on a
putback by Danny Miles and a three-pointer from Chad Shepler. After
making some early substitutions, the Bulldogs started to find their
rhythm offensively thanks in part to their halfcourt and fullcourt
defensive pressure. Finding their stride the Bulldogs went on a 25-2 run
over the next eight minutes to take control of the game.
Darbyshire ignited the run with a layup and three-pointer that put the
Bulldogs ahead for good. A Tanner Neu basket, a three pont play by Will
Vorhees and a Baily Clement basket had Grove up 14-5 after eight
Cory-Rawson halted the Bulldog run on a basket by Ian
Moser to start the second quarter before Grove went on an 11-o run for a
25-7 lead. Joey Warnecke opened this run with a three-pointer from the
right corner, that was followed by a putback by Riley Brubaker. After a
basket by Elisha Jones, putbacks by Vorhees and Brubaker had the
Bulldogs up 25-7. Two of the baskets by the Bulldogs in this run came as
a result of turnovers from their fullcourt pressure.
(Hornets) have good halfcourt stuff when you let them run it and our
plan was to disrupt it and make them more basketball players than
running plays and I thought we did a good job of that after the first
three minutes,” Grove coach Ryan Stechschulte said. “We got our feet
settled in and did a good job on the defensive end. Our defense turned
into a lot of easy offense for us.
“We only had two kids with
varsity experience coming back, so this game was good for us. We had
some nervous kids and they had to get their feet wet. You could see that
the first four minutes. Other than Jace and Will, we had some guys on
the floor that were unsettled and little bit wound up and they battled
through that stretch and played a good game after that,” Stechschulte
Matthew Alspach ended the Bulldogs second run with a
three-pointer before Grove closed out the first half with a 7-0 run for a
32-10 halftime lead. Colton Grothaus had a three-pointer in that run,
while David Bogart and Jones both had a basket.
“Those runs are
hard to overcome, especially as deep as they are, as athletic as they
are and skilled as they are,” Cory-Rawson coach Aaron Long said. “We
talked about taking their best and continuing to keep the course and try
to take the best they could give us the first quarter and hang around.
When they made that first run on us that was a big key.”
points at halftime, the Bulldogs didn’t suffer any letdown in the third
quarter outscoring the Hornets 20-6. The Bulldogs had a 10-0 run in the
third quarter to lengthen their lead.
There were some anxious
moments in the third quarter for the Bulldogs when Vorhees was fouled
attempting a dunk and landed on the floor hard. He laid on the floor for
a few minutes trying to catch his breath, then walked off under his own
power. Vorhees never returned to the game, but coach Stechschulte said
his 6-7 senior would be fine as he landed on his butt which absorbed
most of the blow.
Darbyshire led 12 Bulldogs in the scoring column
with 10 points while Vorhees had eight points and seven rebounds.
Brubaker pulled down six rebounds as Grove had a 38-25 edge in rebounds.
Moser led the Hornets (7-15) with seven points, while Grant Risner had six points and eight rebounds.
* * *
Cory-Rawson 10-44 0-2 60:
Ian Moser 3-0-7; Matthew Alspach 2-0-5; Mason Waltz 0-0-0; Spencer
Silvers 0-0-0; Austin Schaller 0-0-0; Kyle Rossman 0-0-0; Bryce Tuttle
0-0-0; Grant Risner 3-0-6; Chad Shepler 1-0-3; Heath Risner 0-0-0; Danny
Miles 1-0-2; ryan Forney 0-0-0; Jacob Wineland 0-0-0.
Columbus Grove 22-52 7-14 60:
Colton Grothaus 2-0-5; Jace Darbyshire 4-0-10; Gabe Stechschulte 0-0-0;
Riley Brubaker 2-0-4; Baily Clement 3-0-6; David Bogart 1-0-2; Joey
Warnecke 2-0-5; Corey Schroeder 1-1-3; Elisha Jones 2-1-5; Logan Diller
1-1-3; Bryce Sharrits 0-0-0; Noah Kohls 1-1-3; Tanner Neu 2-1-6; Will
Cory-Rawson 5 5 6 7 - 23
Columbus Grove 14 18 20 8 - 60
Three-point goals: Cory-Rawson 3-14 (Moser, Alspach, Shepler); Columbus Grove 4-14 (Darbyshire 2, Grothaus 1, Warnecke 1).
Rebounds: Cory-Rawson 25 (G. Risner 7); Columbus Grove 38 (Vorhees 7,Brubaker 6).
Turnovers: Cory-Rawson 18, Columbus Grove 11.