|Bearcats get revenge a year late|
|Friday, March 08, 2013 1:32 PM|
They lost a district game versus Liberty-Benton due to a miracle shot by the Eagles.
That was well on their collective minds when the teams met up against Thursday night in Division III District semifinal action at Lima Senior High School.
The Bearcats needed to go overtime but there would be no miracle shot as the Bearcats (16-7) knocked off the Eagles (22-2) 53-51.
Spencerville advances to a Saturday night contest (7 p.m. tip) against Lima Central Catholic, a 66-33 destroyer of Carey.
“One difference between this year and last was we didn’t fall behind early; we got off to a good start. We didn’t have to expend so much energy coming back this time,” Spencerville coach Kevin Sensibaugh explained. “We remembered last year and how we lost; we returned a lot of players that were on that team and this is sweet.”
Tied at 45 to start the 4-minute overtime, the Bearcats got a 3-point play by freshman Zach Goecke (18 markers, 5 boards) at the 2:54 mark for a 3-point edge. The Eagles replied with consecutive baskets by Ryan Geise and John Darnall (11 counters) in the next minute to take a 49-48 lead. Dominick Corso (8 markers, 6 boards), saddled with foul trouble, put back an offensive board at 1:28 to give the Bearcats the lead for good. Geise forced a 3-ball at 1:13 and missed, with the Bearcats getting the rebound and Ben Bowers (12 points) was fouled at 1:04. He hit both ends of the bonus for a 3-point margin. Liberty-Benton got within a point when Nathan Garver (20 points, 5 rebounds) put back a miss at 4.5 ticks to go and called timeout at 3.7 ticks to go. The Bearcats had trouble getting the ball inbounds, finally using a long pass to get Goecke fouled with 2.2 ticks to go for two free throws. He hit the second-of-2 for a 2-point edge. With no timeouts left, Liberty-Benton had to try a long pass and this time, the ball was tipped to Bowers as time expired.
“You had two teams that are very good defensively; they both take away what you try to do, especially in your sets,” Sensibaugh added. “It forces you to go more 1-on-1 and try to make plays that way. This was just a tough, hard-nosed game and it was fun. We just made one more play than they did.”
Spencerville had a pretty good first period — hitting 6-of-7 shots — against the Eagles’ man-to-man. Goecke scored seven in the canto, as did Benton’s Garver against the Bearcat man scheme. Spencerville led 13-9 as Goecke hit a 3-ball at the 2-minute mark but when Mitch Linhart (7 points, 5 boards) hit the 1st-of-2 freebies with 31.2 ticks on the board to get the Eagles within 13-12.
Liberty-Benton went to a 1-3-1 half-court zone that seemed to affect the Spencerville offense, with Darnall kicking away several reverse passes. The Bearcats did build up a 21-14 edge on a 3-point play by Goecke at the 5:32 mark but the Eagles rallied with an 11-4 spurt, tying the contest at 25 on a layin off a steal by Nate Maag at the 11-second mark. When Bowers drove for a short banker with 2.1 ticks on the board, the Black Attack led 27-25.
The third period saw eight lead changes and two ties as neither team led by more than two. With players like Corso and senior Derek Goecke (5 boards, 5 assists, fouling out at 4:06 of the fourth canto) on the bench with four fouls, senior Greg Miller hit a pair of singles at 5.9 ticks, to put the Bearcats up 40-38.
Garver hit a pair of free tosses at 7:36 and Darnall a long two at 6:53 to put the Eagles up by two. When Darnall hit a trey at 5:50, the Eagles led 45-40, their largest lead of the night. Those would be the last points they scored in regulation. Z. Goecke drove for a deuce at 5:20. The Eagles missed their final five shots in the fourth. Despite turning it over four times in the final 4-plus minutes (16 for the game), the Bearcats managed to tie the contest at 45 on a 3-point play by Bowers at 3:43. Neither team could score the rest of regulation. L-B had a chance to win late in regulation but Linhart missed a foul-line jumper with under two ticks left and the rebound was knocked away to force overtime.
Spencerville ended up 19-of-33 shots (3-of-8 long range) for 57.6 percent and 12-of-18 at the line (66.7%). They totaled 26 caroms (6 offensive) and 15 fouls.