Spencerville 50, St. Marys 46
ST. MARYS — St. Marys head coach Dan Hegemier threw out his hands and wondered when his team would catch a break.
“I’ve been doing this a long time, but I’ve never seen a team with such bad karma,” Hegemier said.
The Roughriders stormed back from a double-digit deficit but couldn’t quite come all the way back in Saturday night’s 50-46 loss to the Spencerville Bearcats.
The 30-year head coach, who coached for a couple of seasons at Spencerville early in his coaching career, wants to see his team’s good efforts get rewarded. Instead his team watched its second-half comeback fall a shot short.
St. Marys went 8-for-15 from the floor in the fourth quarter in its furious attempt to even up its record at .500.
“I’m proud of the guys,” Hegemier said. “They came together as a team. They put a great effort out. Spencerville is a good team. We hung in there. As long as we stay together as a group and stay together, one of these times, we’ll get a break. We don’t get any breaks. The ball doesn’t bounce our way. But if we stay together and keep playing hard, it’s going to change.”
St. Marys closed to within 44-41 late with an 8-2 run when D.J. Manning drained a three-pointer from the left-hand corner. That gave the Riders a puncher’s chance after they had trailed by as many as 14 points in the third quarter.
The Spencerville lead was 46-44 late after Garet Fledderjohann hit a trey from the left wing, but Spencerville got a putback basket on the ensuing possession to go up by two possessions again.
J.D. Meyer’s desperation fall-away three-pointer came up short with fewer than 20 seconds left and Dan Binkley secured the rebound to essentially put the game away.
Meyer led St. Marys with 20 points. Fledderjohann added 11 points.
The Riders slipped to 4-6 on the season.
St. Marys moved past a 30-point loss at Elida the night before to give another team with big aspirations this winter a much closer game. “It was a lot better than last night,” Hegemier said. “These guys could’ve lay down and died, but they didn’t.”
St. Marys took a while to get heated up. The Bearcats ran a 2-3 zone that packed in the paint and denied J.D. Meyer the ball for much of the first three quarters.
“I felt like our bigs didn’t match up as well as St. Marys’, so we decided to go to the 2-3 and I think it helped us from the standpoint that it slowed them down,” Spencerville head coach Keving Sensabaugh said. “It made them think and it allowed us to get some leakouts for our guards.”
“Kevin (Sensabaugh) surprised us,” Hegemier said. “They hadn’t run any 2-3 zone all season before tonight.”
Spencerville’s Eli Bowers scored 20 points to lead the Bearcats, who improved to 6-3.
“We have an experienced team,” Sensabaugh said. “I thought we showed our mental toughness tonight by sticking with it the entire game. We didn’t flinch. They’re going to make some shots, but we didn’t flinch.”
New Knoxville 63, Botkins 59
NEW KNOXVILLE – New Knoxville hit six of 11 free throws in the final two minutes and got a big night from Lucas Leffel to escape with a 63-59 victory Saturday evening against the Botkins Trojans in a non-league game at New Knoxville.
Despite the hot shooting and rebounding of Lucas Leffel the Rangers had a hard time pulling away from the Trojans. Leffel finished the game with 21 points and 13 rebounds.
“We finally shot the ball well tonight,” Fledderjohann said. “The last couple of weeks we have started shooting the ball better. In practice we have started shooting the ball more and trying to get the guys into a better rhythm.
“Lucas Leffel is our man inside,” Fledderjohann said. We rely a lot on him. Lucas was a little banged up tonight and you have to give him credit because he came out and didn’t complain at all.”
“It came to a point where we had a hand in his face and he was still knocking in shots,” Meyer said. “We knew he would give us a tough matchup and he was a little bit over his average and Jake Allen had 16 points also so that was good for them.”
Going into the fourth quarter the Rangers only had a 45-43 lead, but it changed quickly as the fourth quarter started. Jake Allen opened with a trey and Seth Kuck followed with a lay-up to give New Knoxville a 50-43 lead with seven minutes left.
Two players scored in double figures for the Rangers. Leffel led with 21 points and Jake Allen had 16 points. Tyler Egbert led the Trojans with 14 points and Ethan Zimpfer had 10 points.
The Trojans (5-4) entertain Fairlawn next Friday, while the Rangers (4-4) host New Bremen on Friday.
Minster 33, Ottoville 20
MINSTER -- The Minster boys basketball team clamped down defensively, holding the Big Green to just two first-half field goals in a defensive battle.
Devon Poeppelman led Minster with 12 points.
The Wildcats went 6-of-10 from the floor in the second half, as they improved to 4-4 on the season.
OTT 4 3 7 6 — 20
MIN 5 8 10 10 — 33
MINSTER — Austin Knapke 1-1-3, Adam Niemeyer 2-3-7, Devon Poeppelman 4-1-12, Ryan Hoying 1-0-3, Doug Huber 2-2-6, Ethan Wolf 1-0-2. TOTALS 11-7-33.
OTTOVILLE — Derek Schimmoeller 1-0-2, Ryan Honigford 1-0-2, Luke Schimoeller 1-1-3, Bryan Hoholbein 1-0-3, Kevin Schnipke 3-4-10. TOTALS 7-5-20.
Russia 61, New Bremen 46
RUSSIA — RUSSIA — The Raiders jumped out to a 41-22 halftime lead and coasted to the win over the Cardinals on Saturday night.
Aaron Clune led New Bremen with 18 points. Troy Williams added 10 points and six rebounds. Justin Heitkamp led New Bremen with 11 rebounds, including six offensive boards. Parker Manger had four steals for the Cardinals.
NB 5 17 10 14 — 46
R 23 18 3 17 — 61
NEW BREMEN — Aaron Clune 7-4-18, Luke Schwieterman 1-0-3, Parker Manger 3-1-7, Justin Heitkamp 1-2-4, Neven Frazee 1-0-2, Troy Williams 5-0-10, Elliott Westerbeck 1-0-2. TOTALS 19-7-46.
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