By MATT NYE
Sometimes a team can get on a roll at tournament time and make a deep run. However, St. Wendelin’s aspirations of a run were halted after a semifinal win two days ago as Old Fort ran off with an 87-55 win in a Division IV sectional championship game Friday night at Fostoria High School.
Old Fort moves on to next week’s district semifinals at Lakota.
Tiffin Calvert will join the Stockaders at Lakota after beating New Riegel 64-51 in the other Sectional final Friday night.
Old Fort brought pressure all game long and forced 34 St. Wendelin turnovers. The Stockaders got out to a 27-9 first quarter start and finished off the Mohawks with 26 fourth-quarter points as they improved to 17-5. St. Wendelin finished 11-13.
Hunter Perry tallied 32 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and eight steals for Old Fort, while Adam Alexander had 12 points and five boards.
Peter Campbell and Nick Root scored 15 points apiece for the Mohawks, while Gabe Walters finished with 14 points and seven rebounds.
“We dug ourselves such a big hole that we couldn’t get out of,” St. Wendelin coach Jim Rutter said. “We had like 20 or so turnovers in the first half and we just didn’t do a good job of handling the ball at all. Once we started to settle down and handle the ball better, we were fine.
“We just picked the ball up and stood instead of attacking the press and making good cuts,” Rutter said of the early going. “We weren’t reading it very well and we were the ones just passing the ball around the perimeter and waiting for them to trap us.”
Perry got off to a fast start with 12 first-quarter points. St. Wendelin battled back in the second quarter after an 8-0 Stockaders run to begin the quarter. Cyle Smith put in six points for the Mohawks, who were down 45-24 at the half.
“We thought coming in that we could pressure them into a lot turnovers and that exactly what we did tonight,” Old Fort coach Eric Hoover said. “We really wanted to run tonight after makes or misses to try to beat them in transition and not let their defense get set.”
Of Perry, Hoover said: “He did a great job tonight, like he’s been doing for us all season long. He just can do anything that he wants to on the basketball court and I’m just glad he’s on my team.”
St. Wendelin ramped up its pressure defense and started to frustrate the Stockaders in the third quarter. The Mohawks outscored Old Fort 18-16 in the period as Root recorded nine points.
Old Fort came back in a big way in the fourth quarter as Perry poured in 12 points.
Hootie Cleveland and Jon Lotycz each scored nine points on the night for the Stockaders, while Brady Rutter pulled down 10 rebounds for St. Wendelin.
Calvert (10-13) held a 35-32 halftime lead over New Riegel (8-16) and then closed down defensively on the Blue Jackets and outscored them 29-19 in the second half.
Drew Ritzler led the Senecas with 17 points, including four 3-pointers while Michael Bennett added 13 points and Austin Ball had 12.
Calvert held a 35-32 halftime lead, but wasn’t happy with its defense. In the second half the Senecas clamped down and outscored the Blue Jackets 29-19 to pull away.
Jake Dryfuse led New Riegel with 17 points, while Tim Ink added 13.
“The first thing we told the guys was that we had to own the boards tonight,” Tiffin Calvert coach Ted Willman said. “We had to take care of the ball and take good shots. For four quarters, we did all three of those things well. Things went exactly how we planned them to go tonight and we knew it would be a game of runs, but we came away with the win. This had to be the best game we’ve played in two years.”
The Blue Jackets were outrebounded 25-18 as Austin Perry grabbed a game-high 10 boards for the Senecas.
“They knocked down big shots all night,” New Riegel coach Dave Losey said of the Senecas. “We got a little three-happy in the second half, which isn’t our game. Eventually when its not your game, you will cool off like we did.”
ST. WENDELIN (55)
Root 4-3–15, Murray 0-0–0, Campbell 6-3–15, Rutter 2-0–5, Frankart 0-0–0, Scudder 0-0–0, Walters 6-2–14, Schetter 0-0–0, Smith 2-1–6, Moon 0-0–0, Sellers 0-0–0, Lopez 0-0–0. TOTALS: 20-53 9-21 — 55.
OLD FORT (87)
Perry 12-4–32, Cleveland 3-1–9, Alexander 5-2–12, Bannister 2-2–6, Bell 0-0–0, Phillimore 1-0–2, Bryon 0-0–0, Wilson 0-0–0, Anstead 1-1–3, Steyer 5-2–14, Hammond 0-0–0, Hossler 0-0–0, Tittle 0-0–0, Lotyez 4-1–9. TOTALS: 33-68 13-21 — 87.
St. Wendelin 9 15 18 13 — 55
Old Fort 27 18 16 26 — 87
3-Point GOALS: St. Wendelin 6-23 (Root 4, Rutter, Smith); Old Fort 8-24 (Perry 4, Cleveland 2, Steyer 2).
REBOUNDS: St. Wendelin 41 (Rutter 10); Old Fort 31 (Perry 10).
TURNOVERS: St. Wendelin 34; Old Fort 15.
New Riegel (51)
Arbogast 0-0–0, Lescallett 0-2–2, Mathias 0-0–0, Hughes 0-0–0, Reinhart 0-0–0, Williams 2-0–6, Ink 6-0–13, Dryfuse 6-2–17, Acree 2-1–6, Kirian 3-1–7. TOTALS: 19-44 6-7 — 51.
Tiffin Calvert (64)
Bennett 4-4–13, Smith 0-7–7, Burns 0-0–0, Behm 1-0–3, Ritzler 6-1–17, Meyer 1-0–2, Ball 4-4–12, Somers 0-0–0, Perry 3-4–10. TOTALS: 19-40 20-29 — 64.
New Riegel 18 14 11 8 — 51
Calvert 19 16 13 16 — 64
3-Point GOALS: New Riegel 7-15 (Dryfuse 3, Williams 2, Ink, Acree); Tiffin Calvert 6-11 (Ritzler 4, Bennett, Behm).
REBOUNDS: New Riegel 18; Tiffin Calvert 25 (Perry 10).
TURNOVERS: New Riegel 5; Tiffin Calvert 6.