Vikings move into regional finals
Tuesday, March 12, 2013 8:56 PM
By Charlie Warnimont
Sentinel Sports Editor
BOWLING GREEN - Leipsic coach Scott Maag has seen it before.His team had a big lead in the fourth quarter and their opponent made a run to make things very interesting. But he also knew his team could, hopefully, handle the situation.
As the Vikings watched Edgerton erase a 13 point deficit to tie the game at 47-47. Then after one more tie, the Vikings used an 8-0 run to end the game to give Leipsic a 57-49 win over Edgerton in the first game of the Division IV regional semi-finals at the Stroh Center in Bowling Green.
The win sends the Vikings (23-4) to the regional finals Friday night against Ottawa Hills at 7:30 p.m. at the Stroh Center. Ottawa Hills defeated Colonel Crawford 53-40 to advance.
Leipsic built a 40-31 lead after three quarters as they scored the final six points of the quarter. Derek Steffan scored four of the points as two of them came after a steal.
Leipsic's defense forced two early Edgerton fourth quarter turnovers that Josh Gerten and Devin Mangas turned into baskets for a 13 point Viking lead with 6:57 left to play. However, the Bulldogs were not making their third straight regional appearnance for a reason.
After a timeout, Edgerton ran off the next seven points as they pulled within six of Leipsic with 5:35 to play. Senior Ben Riehle had five of the points. Caleb Barrera halted the Viking lead with a free throw, then after Max Nihart hit two free throws for the Bulldogs, Austin Brown answered back for the Vikings. Edgerton ran off the next seven points as Riehle had two free throws and Nihart scored five straight points, which included a three-pointer to tie the game at 47-47.
Mangas broke the tie with a jumper before Edgerton's Jacob Adams grabbed a rebound and score for the Bulldogs.
Brown took over for the Vikings scoring the final eight points of the game. Brown scored two baskets getting free down low to take passes and score. After sinking two free throws, Brown ended the scoring with another basket down low.
"We've been there before," Maag said. "We knew this was a good team. You don't win 22 games and get to the regionals and not be any good. We knew we had to take their best punch. We knew it was coming. For some reason it happens in the fourth quarter to us."
"They went on a run, but we went on a few runs of our own. It did bother me. The only thing I knew about that was that we were there before. The same thing happened against Columbus Grove. Coach (Chris) Kuhlman and COach (Tyler) Closson, to their credit, said we have to be who we are, take away their inside game, box out and rebound. Those last two minutes they didn't get any uncontested shots," Maag added.
With his late game scoring, Brown led the Vikings with 21 points as he was 7-of-8 shooting from the field and 7-of-8 from the free throw line. Brown led the Vikings despite playing only half the game because of foul trouble. He had two fouls the first quarter, picked up his third in the second quarter and received his fourth foul seconds into the third quarter.
"That fourth quarter was huge," Brown said. "They went on their run, we called a timeout and coach knew what to call. We ran it to perfection. We scored two points and we were right where we needed to be. Our depth was key, especially with the foul trouble we were in. We can bring in guys off the bench and not miss a heartbeat."
"We've got a very tight team," Maag said. "They don't care who scores. They care about one thing and one thing only and that's winning. It's fun to ride on the coattails of some very special kids."
Despite his foul trouble in the first half, Mangas finished with 14 points and Zach Kuhlman had seven points. Barrera pulled down eight rebounds for Leipsic.
Adams had a double-double for the Bulldogs as he scored 25 points and grabbed 16 rebounds. Adams had a double-double for the Bulldogs in the first half as he kept his team close. Riehle added 11 points and Nihart had seven points.
* * *
Edgerton 18-48 12-15 49: Nihart 1-4-7; Riehle 4-3-11; Wright 0-2-2; Miller 2-0-4; Adams 11-3-25; McNalley 0-0-0; Richardson 0-0-0.
Leipsic 22-50 12-16 57: Mangas 6-2-14; Steffan 3-0-6; Brown 7-7-21; Barrera 2-1-5; A. Schroeder 1-0-2; Haselman 0-0-0; M. Kuhlman 0-0-0; Z. Kuhlman 2-2-7; Gerten 1-0-2.
Edgerton 5 12 14 18 - 49
Leipsic 10 14 16 17 - 57
Three-point goals: Edgerton 1-8 (Nihart 1); Leipsic 1-13 Z. Kuhlman 1).
Rebounds: Edgerton 34 (Adams 16); Leipsic 29 (Barrera 8, Brown 6)
Turnovers: Edgerton 20, Leipsic 11.