|Strong 4th quarter pushes Wildcats to tourney win|
|Wednesday, February 27, 2013 1:40 PM|
The Wildcats got the better of the deal, outscoring the Mustangs 29-11 in the final period to grab an 82-69 victory in Division III action at Wapakoneta.
“We wanted to get into a quick pace. We felt that we had better athletes at several positions and didn’t want to let them force a grind-it-out game; that’s what they wanted,” Jefferson coach Marc Smith noted. “We got off to a good start with some pressure defense but we couldn’t do it the whole game. That was the key later in the third period and at the start of the fourth; we made some shots, got into our pressure and it seemed in 30 seconds, went from six down to leading.”
The Mustangs (3-18) held a 58-53 lead at the end of three periods and won the first part of the fourth period 6-5 to lead 64-58. The Wildcats (5-17) got a putback by sophomore Ross Thompson (double-double with a game-high 26 points and 14 boards) at 5:56 and Smith called time. The Wildcats then slapped on their trapping full-court pressure that forced four quick turnovers in the next five Mustang possessions (17 for the game) that resulted in seven points and a 67-64 edge — taking the lead for good on a free toss by senior Zach Ricker at 5:28. The Wildcats continued that trend with their defense doing the damage, building up a 74-64 spread on two singles by Ricker at 2:56. The closest the Mustangs could get the rest of the way was eight as the Red and White canned 10-of-13 free throws in the final period — all in the final 5:28 — to seal the victory.
The Wildcats used an aggressive approach offensively and canned 28-of-37 free throws (75.7%) versus 9-of-15 for Allen East (60%), fouling out a pair of Mustangs: Tanner Richardson (13 markers, 11 boards) and Tyler Friesner. Junior Austin Jettinghoff led the Wildcats with nine of his 18 markers (5 thefts, 4 dimes) in the period and freshman Trey Smith (6 boards) dropped in eight of his 20.
“When we called timeout there in the fourth, we simply challenged the guys: guard someone or go home. They responded very well to that challenge and I credit them for that,” Coach Smith continued.
The Wildcats had the better of the proceedings in the first period, riding six points and five boards by Thompson in the canto. They scored the first seven points and led 13-4 on a Thompson basket at 2:30. Allen East rallied with a 6-2 closing spurt, getting within 15-10 on a mid-lane jumper by Logan Rex (17 counters) at 31 seconds.
The offenses ruled the second eight minutes, with Allen East winning the span 28-26. They canned 10-of-21 shots (29-of-59 for the game, 2-of-12 long range, for 49.2%) as Richardson netted seven and Rex six. The Wildcats dropped in a strong 7-of-11 in the canto (25-of-55 overall, 3-of-12 beyond the arc, for 45.5%) as Smith exploded for 11 points and Thompson added nine. There were two ties and five lead changes, with the Wildcats leading 41-36 on a free throw by senior Seth Wollenhaupt before Allen East’s Marcos Quintero was fouled shooting a last-gasp trey and hit two of the resultant singles with .6 on the clock for a 41-38 halftime lead in favor of Jefferson.
Allen East took over in the third period, using their height inside to win the span 20-12. Clay Plaugher (12 counters) dropped in eight of the points and Matt Shuey (16 counters, 8 boards) six in the canto to lead the Mustang effort. They dropped in 9-of-12 in the canto and led by their largest margin — 58-51 on a Shuey layin off a long pass at 16 ticks before Jettinghoff hit two freebies with six seconds to go for a 58-53 scoreboard.
“It’s all about surviving in the post-season. We talked as a coaching staff the last two days about how strange things happen in the post-season because of it and we score 82 tonight,” Smith added. “Our defense was not very good in the first three quarters, especially in the third period; we allowed our lack of rhythm offensively to affect how we played on the other end. In the end, though, I think our tempo wore them down.” Allen East finished with 36 caroms, 12 offensive, and 23 fouls.