By Charlie Warnimont
Sentinel Sports Editor
FINDLAY - There was a stretch in the fourth quarter when the Leipsic basketball team was struggling.

That's when the Viking seniors, led by guard Devin Mangas, took control of their Division IV district final against Columbus Grove.
Leipsic shrugged off a period of sluggish play to hold off a fourth quarter charge by the Bulldogs to post a 66-59 win against their Putnam County League rival before a packed house at Liberty-Benton.
The win sends the Vikings (22-4) to the Bowling Green State University Division IV regional Tuesday against Evergreen at 6:15 p.m. at the Stroh Center. The Bulldogs saw their season end at 18-7.
Leipsic had a 53-43 lead after three quarters and were up 55-43 after a Zach Kuhlman basket early in the final quarter. But over the next three plus minutes the Vikings offense disappeared as the Bulldogs trimmed all but one point off their deficit when sophomore guard Jace Darbyshire drained a three-pointer from the left corner. Five different Grove players scored during their 11-0 run that had them within 55-54 with 4:22 left to play.
Leipsic coach Scott Maag used a timeout at that time to settle his veteran squad down and that's when Mangas took over for the Vikings.
Mangas, who had 32 points in Leipsic's district semi-final win Tuesday night, scored six points, on two baseline jumpers and two free throws, that righted the ship for the Vikings, while Darbyshire knocked down another three-pointer for the Bulldogs to keep them within striking distance.
However, Mangas didn't stop after the six points as he added five more points to his total, three free throws and a basket just before the final buzzer as he finished with 34 points on the night. Two of Mangas's free throws came after Austin Brown missed a free throw, but hustled after his miss, stole the ball and slipped it to Mangas who was folled by Grove as they needed to get the ball back. The Bulldogs final points came on two Will Vorhees free throws with 12.1 seconds left.
"I wasn't trying to be a ballhog or anything like that," Mangas said of his late game heroics. "I was just letting the game come to me and my teammates found me open and I knocked down the shots. I just wanted to lead my team and do everything possible to get us a "W".
Among Mangas's 34 points were a second quarter three-pointer that put the senior over the 1,000 point mark for his career. That came with 3:01 left in the first half which also gave the Vikings the lead for good. Mangas entered the game eight points shy of the 1,000 point mark.
"He must like this place," Leipsic coach Scott Maag said of Mangas. "He kept saying were going to keep playing tonight. And to his credit he hit some big shots and some big free throws down the stretch. He said coach we're not going to lose this, we're not going to lose this. Was he special. Guys like him come around few and far between."
"We told the guys we were okay. We took their best shot, we weren't playing well, but lets get back to doing what we do and it starts on the defensive end. Our kids played pretty good that last couple of minutes," Maag added.
"It was a little frustrating," Columbus Grove coach Ryan Stechschulte said. "Mangas was unbelievable tonight. When a kid does that, you almost want to watch and almost congratulate him while the games going. He made some tough shots, especially in the fourth quarter after we made that nice run to get it down to one. He took two 14-15 footers on the baseline, and made them both, that pushed the lead back to five. He is one of the best players in the area. He took over tonight."
Mangas stepped up at key times all night for the Vikings. The first time was in the opening quarter as he scored seven points, including a three-pointer that gave Leipsic its first lead of the night.
Columbus Grove jumped out quick on the Vikings scored the first six points of the game on two free throws by Derek Rieman, a Brady Shafer putback and a Will Vorhees basket. Mangas scored four of the Vikings first six points that kept close until they scored eight straight points to take a 16-14 lead. Aric Schroeder and Mangas had back-to-back three-pointers to give Leipsic the lead before Vorhees hit a jumper to even the score at 16-16.
The two teams spend the second quarter going back and forth as the Bulldogs had a 22-20 lead after a Rieman basket before two free throws by Austin Brown and a Schroeder putback returned the lead to Leipsic. A Rieman basket tied the game at 24-24 before Mangas hit a three-pointer (his 1,000th point) and Derek Steffan followed a short time later with a three that put the Vikings up six. Leipsic went on to take a 34-27 lead into halftime as Mangas closed out the first half scoring hitting two of three free throw."
The Vikings threatened to break the game open late in the third quarter as they took a 12 point lead at 50-38 on two free throws by Mangas and a Mangas basket. Vorhees, who was slowed by the Viking defense after 10 first quarter points, stopped the run before Mangas and Darbyshire ended the third quarter trading three's.
Schroeder added 11 points to the Viking win and Steffan added five points.
Vorhees led the Bulldogs with 18 points, but only eight points after the first quarter. Vorhees did miss a portion of the second quarter with foul trouble.
"We have two guys in Derek Steffan and Caleb Barrera that take a lot of pride in not letting people score," Maag said. "Caleb came off (the floor) a couple of times in the first quarter and said coach, I got it, I got it. Vorhees had 10 points the first quarter and eight the rest of the game so Caleb was outstanding on defense."

"It was the way the flow of the game was going," Stechschulte said. " We were running stuff for him (Vorhees), but they brought extra help and he did a nice of kicking it and we made some shots that fourth quarter. We had other players step up as we cut the deficit to one. Coach Maag was able to settle his kids and probably told them to get the ball to number 3 (Mangas), they did and that was the end of the story."
Rieman added 10 points to the Grove total and Darbyshire had nine points.

* * *
Columbus Grove 23- 9- 59: Derek Rieman 3-4-10; Brady Shafer 4-1-9; Will Vorhees 8-2-18; Collin Grothaus 1-0-2; Blake Hoffman 3-2-9; Jace Darbyshire 3-0-9; Joey Warnecke 1-0-2.
Leipsic 25- 11- 66: Caleb Barrera 2-0-4; Devin Mangas 11-9-34; Derek Steffan 3-0-7; Aric Schroeder 5-0-11; Austin Brown 2-2-6; Zach Kuhlman 2-0-4; Mitch Kuhlman 0-0-0; Neil Haselman 0-0-0; Josh Gerten 0-0-0.
Columbus Grove 16 11 16 16 - 59
Leipsic 16 18 19 13 - 66
Three-point goals: Columbus Grove 3 (Darbyshire 3, Hoffman 1); Leipsic 5 (Mangas 3, Steffan 1, Schroeder 1).