Following is a complete story on the Fostoria High School and Elmwood boys basketball game from Tuesday night. The story was unavailable for Wednesday due to an early press time prompted by Tuesday night’s snowstorm.
By MATT NYE
BLOOMDALE — Some players rise at the end of a game and are great in the clutch. When Elmwood found itself in a barnburner with Fostoria High School Tuesday night, Aaron Arnold took over the game.
The Royals’ 6-foot-5 senior scored 15 of his game-high 19 points after halftime and willed his team to a 58-52 overtime win in Northern Buckeye Conference play.
Arnold also pulled down nine rebounds and passed for five assists as Elmwood improved to 4-12 overall and 3-6 in the NBC.
“Every game, we try to make him (Arnold) the center of our offense,” Royals coach Ty Traxler said. “He didn’t want to lose. That’s what it boils down to. We ran our normal offense to get him the ball in certain spots in our offense, but tonight he really took it upon himself to put his team on his back, and he did a good job not just scoring himself, but setting up other guys with good shots. It was obviously one of his better games tonight.”
FHS held a 47-41 lead with 2:22 left in regulation. Elmwood charged back with a 6-0 burst on an Arnold 3-pointer and a Jarrett Childress putback layup. Arnold then scored the first basket in overtime, and the Royals went on to outscore the Redmen 10-4.
Kaleb Bemis hit three 3-pointers and led Fostoria with 17 points, while Kagen Brown made four treys en route to 14 points.
The Redmen (2-13, 0-9) connected on 8 of 16 attempts from 3-point territory, but they were outrebounded 29-16 and outscored 19-8 from the free throw line..
FHS coach Rick Renz was pleased with his team’s effort and felt like a victory had slipped away.
“I just think it was an outstanding effort by us tonight,” Renz said. “About two weeks ago they (Elmwood) came into our place and embarrassed us by 24 (68-44). We go back tonight on the brink of victory, but we just didn’t have some things go our way in the fourth quarter.
“It wasn’t for a lack of effort; our kids busted their butts tonight. The victory was right there; we just let it elude us. Anytime you go into overtime, it always favors the home team and when they score the first basket it always puts pressure on us to score right with them. It came down to the end and we didn’t quit, but we might have rushed some shots down the stretch. But I was really happy with our effort tonight.”
The first half was tight as FHS built a 26-24 halftime lead. Trevor Solether scored eight of his 14 points in the first half for Elmwood and Brown had nine points for the Redmen.
The second half was just as close, as Elmwood outscored the Redmen 24-22, but the Royals dominated overtime.
Deven Peter scored seven points for the Royals, and Kobey Bemis recorded seven points for FHS.
“We knew Fostoria wouldn’t play like they did the first time,” Traxler said in regard to the teams’ two NBC matchups. “In the first three-and-a-half quarters they must’ve shot at least 70 percent or something, and I think that got our kids a little rattled.
“We did keep our composure and got some defensive stops. I was a little bullheaded, staying in our zone, but when we switched to man-to-man we did a lot better at closing out on their shooters. I can’t say enough about our kids, and especially our two seniors (Arnold and Sebastian Baxter), who have been playing with five sophomores on a varsity team, and their leadership tonight on the offensive end was outstanding.”
FHS won the junior varsity game 51-44. Tyler Agapiou scored 14 points for the Redmen, while Ryan Aufdencamp and Keyon Camden had nine points apiece for the Royals.
Stanton 2-0–4, Ka. Bemis 5-4–17, Ko. Bemis 3-0–7, Brown 4-2–14, Matz 0-1–1, Medina 0-0–0, Mauricio 1-0–2, Martin 0-1–1, Abell 1-0–2, Stennett 2-0–4. TOTALS: 18-40 8-14 — 52.
Peter 1-6–8, Lentz 0-0–0, Childress 3-1–7, Baxter 2-0–5, Buckingham 1-2–5, Jones 0-0–0, Solether 5-4-14, Arnold 6-6-19, TOTALS: 18-43 19-27 — 58.
Fostoria 7 19 11 11 4 — 52
Elmwood 8 16 14 10 10 — 58
3-Point GOALS: Fostoria 8-16 (Brown 4, Ka. Bemis 3, Ko. Bemis); Elmwood 3-11 (Buckingham, Arnold, Baxter).
REBOUNDS: Fostoria 16 (Martin 3); Elmwood 29 (Arnold 9).
TURNOVERS: Fostoria 18; Elmwood 17.
JUNIOR VARSITY: Fostoria, 51-44.
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