—Miller City watched Delphos St. Johns grabbed momentum in the
fourth quarter of their Division IV, district semi-final game.
Blue Jays were up five points on the Wildcats after struggling
offensively most of the game. But the Wildcats didn't panic. And when
they made a couple of plays, Miller City was back in the game and that
sudden burst of energy was enough to help them overcome the Blue Jays
momentum for a 39-36 win at the Elida Fieldhouse.
(16-8) advances to face top ranked Crestview (24-0) Friday night in the
Division IV district championship game at Elida, at 7 p.m. The Knights
advanced to the title game with 65-34 win over Columbus Grove in the
opener Tuesday night. The Blue Jays saw their season end at 13-9.
struggling offensively much of the game, the Blue Jays were getting
back on track in the second half taking a five point lead in the third
quarter and again in the fourth. However, it was hard for St. John's to
maintain their offensive consistency against the Wildcats roaming 2-3 zone.
at 23-23 after three quarters, the Blue Jays scored the first five
points of the final quarter as Evan Hayes dropped in a short jumper and
after Andy Grothouse split a pair of free throws, Hayes came up a steal
he converted into two points for a 28-23 lead.
Miller City didn't panic as Jackson Lammers beat his defender off the dribble for a layup, then seconds later did the same thing.
Lammers had a chance to tie the game, but couldn't finish the three
point play leaving the Wildcats down one at 28-27. After a Grothouse
free throw pushed the Blue Jay lead to two, Adam Drummelsmith tied the
game with a putback with 3:50 left.
Nearly 90 seconds ticked off
the clock before the Wildcats took the lead on a three-pointer by Adam
Niese only to see Eric Clark answer back for St. John's. Miller City
regained the lead 15 seconds later when Drummelsmith converted two free
throws with 1:56 left. Neither team would score until there were 24.4
seconds left when Grothouse hit the second of two free throws pulling
the Blue Jays within one.
Niese gave Miller a three point lead
four seconds later when he got to the basket and scored. St. John's
turned the ball over on their next possession, then fouled Niese who
drained both free throws. After a missed three-pointer by the Blue Jays,
Niese was fouled again and split a pair of free throws. A three-pointer
by Clark at the buzzer accounted for the final score.
quarter was huge for us,” Miller City coach Bryan Kuhlman said. “We
talk about winning every quarter and tonight we were able to win that
fourth quarter and the game. We were able to get some penetration we
hadn't been getting and that was the difference. Then we made our free
throws down the stretch.”
“We had to focus on the game, instead of
worrying about some problems we were suffering on the floor. We had
some bad passes, stepped out of bounds and there were some things we
weren't real happy with. And we called a timeout, we cleaned that up, we
atatcked better, got inside and made a couple of easy ones, then they
had to foul us. We put the ball in the hands of the guys that can make
free throws at the end and they came through,” Kuhlman added.
was a closely contested game for the most part,” St. John's coach Aaron
Elwer said. “Give credit to our guys for getting over the hump and
taking the lead. And give them credit for coming back and eventually
taking the lead. This was two teams that didn't want to go home.
Unfortunately one has to, that's competition and that's sports.”
John's struggled offensively the first half against the Wildcats 2-3
zone. They hit just one field goal in the first quarter in falling
behind 6-3 after one quarter and they were 4-of-27 the first half as
they were down 15-10 at the break. For the game, the Blue Jays were
14-of-49 (28.5 percent), including a 4-of-20 effort from three-point
range. Miller City was 13-of-43 shooting (30 percent) and 4-of-16 from
“Obvoiusly you are not going to beat good teams
when you shoot that percentage,” Elwer said. “Lucky for us we defended
and rebounded well all year and that kept us in the game. The ball has
to go in the rim and it didn't do that for us tonight. They (Miller
City) did a good job defensively. They packed it in, but they were
spread out enough to contest shots and they did a good job taking away
the middle of the zone, which is a spot you typically want to attack. We
weren't to get inside and honor the paint as much as we wanted to.”
are not real big, so we have to work real hard on checking out,”
Kuhlman said. “We work on that every night and it paid off for us. The
boys are happy with the effort they gave. They knew what their roles
were, they checked out their bigs and lucky for us they were not hitting from the outside early on. We can only shut down one or two things. We can't shut down every thing with our size and we elected to play inside and force them to shoot from the outside.”
John's offense picked up in the third quarter as baskets by Hayes and
Ryan Koester had them within one at 15-14 before Heuerman hit a
three-pointer for the Wildcats. The Blue Jays then went on a 9-0 run as
they were up 23-18 after a three-pointer by Aaron Hellman. A putback and
three-pointer by Heuerman left the game tied at 23-23 going to the
Drummelsmith had a double-double for the Wildcats
with 14 points and 15 rebounds. Niese added 10 points and grabbed eight
rebounds. Heuerman had eight points and Jackson Lammers seven as just
four Wildcats scored.
Grothouse led the Blue Jays with 10 points,
while Koester, Clark and Hayes all had six. Tyler Conley pulled down 13
rebounds for the Jays.
* * *
Delphos St. John's 14-49
4-8 36: Andy Grothouse 3-3-10; Ryan Koester 3-0-6; Eric Clark 2-0-6;
Evan Hayes 3-0-6; Tyler Conley 2-1-5; Aaron Hellman 1-0-3; Alex
Miller City 13-43 9-13 39: Adam Drummelsmith
4-5-14; Adam Niese 3-3-10; Cory Heuerman 3-1-8; Jackson Lammers 3-0-7;
Jacob Gerten 0-0-0; Max Kuhlman 0-0-0.
Delphos St. John's 3 7 13 13 - 36
Miller City 6 9 8 16 - 39
goals: Delphos St. John's 420 (Clark 2, Grothouse 1, Hellman 1); Miller
City 4-16 (Drummelsmith 1, Niese 1, Heuerman 1, J. Lammers 1).
Rebounds: Delphos St. John's 32 (Conley 13); Miller City 35 (Drummelsmith 15).
Turnovers: Delphos St. John's 10, Miller City 13.