OTTAWA — The St. Marys boys basketball team found its signature victory in one of the toughest places to win in the Western Buckeye League.
St. Marys senior Austin James hit a 3-pointer in the final seconds and the Roughriders stunned No. 4-ranked Ottawa-Glandorf 49-48 on Friday night at The Supreme Court.
“It was a great win,” St. Marys head coach Dan Hegemier said. “Our kids really needed this. They’ve played so well in parts of so many games and we put it together for the entire game.”
On a night favorites and ranked teams were downed with regularity around Northwest Ohio, St. Marys (6-12, 1-6 WBL) might’ve gotten the biggest pelt with its win over the Titans.
O-G (15-3, 5-2 WBL) has had an .860 winning percentage on its home court since 2007-2008 heading into the game. The Roughriders won there for the first time since Jan. 19, 2007, when Corey Menker led the Riders to a 58-51 win in Ottawa. That’s the last time St. Marys beat the Titans anywhere, a five-game losing streak that came to a stunning ending on Friday night.
“I thanked all the people who made the long drive up there,” Hegemier said. “They got a great show.”
James hit a late 3-pointer to give St. Marys the lead in a game that seesawed back and forth throughout the night.
St. Marys’ Garet Fledderjohann led all scorers with 26 points, knocking down four 3-pointers. Fledderjohann moved into sixth place all-time on the St. Marys scoring list, passing John Kuenzel, who played at Memorial from 1952 to 1956, according to St. Marys roundball stat guru Mike Jay.
“Garet had another solid game like he’s been having all season,” Hegemier said.
Fledderjohann is now 39 points shy of reaching the 1,000-point barrier. He would be the fourth in St. Marys boys basketball history.
James provided the necessary second scorer the Riders were missing last weekend in a pair of losses. James knocked down five 3-pointers for the Riders and scored 17 points.
Hegemier, after orchestrating one of the biggest Roughrider wins of the past decade, said it might be the biggest win for him since being at St. Marys — right up there with the upset win over Van Wert three seasons ago.
“Because this one came on the road, it might be the biggest,” Hegemier said.
St. Marys held an O-G team that averaged 63.1 points per game (second best in the WBL) to just 49 points. O-G lost for the second straight Friday night. After beginning the league season 5-1 and ranked third in the state in Division III, the Elida Bulldogs handed the Titans a 71-64 loss last Friday. St. Marys’s win now makes a WBL title for the Titans highly unlikely, as Bath moved to 7-0 in the WBL with its win over Elida last night.
Hegemier loved the toughness his team showed. “Quinn Zaerr got bumped and was bleeding everywhere. He just got taped up and went back out there,” Hegemier said.
Hegemier also said it’s a testament to his team plugging away despite numerous setbacks. “You just have to keep playing,” Hegemier said.
Alex Westerick led O-G with 14 points.
St. Marys and O-G both got off to slow starts, with the Titans leading 8-6 after one quarter. St. Marys turned on the offense in the second and third quarters, however. They scored 17 points in each of the second and third quarters to take a 40-37 lead into the fourth quarter.
St. Marys hosts Minster tonight at 6 p.m.