COLDWATER – The New Bremen boys basketball team’s comeback just came up short in the fourth quarter against the Spencerville Bearcats on Friday night in a 52-48 loss in a Division IV sectional final at Coldwater.
Marion Local defeated Fort Recovery and its four-corner offense for the second straight week 27-23 to win the sectional title.
New Bremen battled adversity all night, including losing leading scorer Carson Manger, who scored 15 points, to fouls with six minutes left in the game.
“We could have packed it up right there,” Cardinals head coach Adam Dougherty said. “You have to give our kids a lot of credit.”
Instead New Bremen got to within one point at 42-41 with 3:32 left, only to watch at Spencerville’s Zach Goecke and Mason Nourse nailed a pair of huge 3-pointers to allow the Bearcats to escape.
Goecke led Spencerville with 17 points.
“This game against New Bremen was the game that worried me the most,” Bearcats head coach Kevin Sensabaugh said. “It felt that I didn’t know how they would respond. The way they played throughout the year I wasn’t sure.”
New Bremen bows out at 10-13 on the season.
Spencerville advances to the Wapakoneta district to face the winner of Arlington and Lima Perry on Tuesday at 6:15 p.m.
Hobbled by injuries and undersized against the tall Flyers, Fort Recovery ran clock with the four corner offense in the second game.
“We have two seniors who have two broken feet in Ben Dilworth and Alex Kaiser,” Indians head coach Brian Patch said. “They played with that and when we played them at their place we tried to run and we got run out of the building for a couple quarters. So being hobbled up like we were we wanted to spread them out and try to beat them on the dribble.”
It’s a strategy that can try the patience of a defense Marion Local head coach Kurt Goettemoeller said.
“We totally anticipated that they would run the four corners,” Kurt Goettemoeller said. “We were totally prepared for it but what we had to do was stay disciplined to the game plan."
Fort Recovery's Elijah Kahlig, who had 14 of Fort Recovery's 23 points, hit a big three and was fouled with 54 seconds left. The free throw cut the deficit to 25-23. But an Indians turnover forced Fort Recovery to foul and Rethman hit two free throws to put the game away.
Fort Recovery ends the season at 15-7, while Marion Local advances to Wapakoneta for the district tournament where they will play Upper Scioto Valley in the second game on Tuesday night at approximately 8 p.m.