|Mangas paces Vikings past Bulldogs|
|Monday, March 11, 2013 10:39 AM|
FINDLAY — There was a stretch in the fourth quarter when the Leipsic basketball team was struggling.
That’s when the Viking seniors, led by guard Devin Mangas, took control of their Division IV district final against Columbus Grove.
Leipsic shrugged off a period of sluggish play to hold off a fourth-quarter charge by the Bulldogs to post a 66-59 win against their Putnam County League rival before a packed house at Liberty-Benton.
The win sends the Vikings (22-4) to the Bowling Green State University Division regional Tuesday against Evergreen at 6:15 p.m. in the Stroh Center. The Bulldogs saw their season end at 18-7.
Leipsic had a 53-43 lead after three quarters and were up 55-43 after a Zach Kuhlman basket early in the final quarter. But over the next 3-plus minutes, the Vikings’ offense disappeared as the Bulldogs trimmed all but one point off their deficit when sophomore guard Jace Darbyshire drained a 3-pointer from the left corner. Five different Grove players scored during their 11-0 run that had them within 55-54 with 4:22 left to play.
Leipsic coach Scott Maag used a timeout at that time to settle his veteran squad down and that’s when Mangas took over for the Vikings.
Mangas, who had 32 points in Leipsic’s district semifinal win Tuesday night, scored six points (2 baseline jumpers and 2 free throws) that righted the ship for the Vikings, while Darbyshire knocked down another 3-pointer for the Bulldogs to keep them within striking distance.
However, Mangas didn’t stop after the six points as he added five more points to his total, three free throws and a basket just before the final buzzer as he finished with 34 points on the night. The Bulldogs’ final points came on two Will Vorhees free throws with 12.1 seconds left.
Among Mangas’s 34 points were a second-quarter 3-pointer that put the senior over the 1,000 point mark for his career.
“It was a little frustrating,” Columbus Grove coach Ryan Stechschulte said. “Mangas was unbelievable tonight. When a kid does that, you almost want to watch and almost congratulate him while the game’s going on. He made some tough shots, especially in the fourth quarter after we made that nice run to get it down to one. He then made two 14-15 footers on the baseline that pushes the lead back to five.”
Mangas stepped up at key times all night for the Vikings. The first time was in the opening quarter as he scored seven points, including a 3-pointer that gave Leipsic its first lead of the night.
Columbus Grove jumped out quick on the favored Vikings scored the first six points of the game on two free throws by Derek Rieman, a Brady Shafer putback and a Vorhees basket. Mangas scored four of the Vikings’ first six points that kept them close until they scored eight straight points to take a 16-14 lead. Aric Schroeder and Mangas had back-to-back 3-pointers to give Leipsic the lead before Vorhees hit a jumper to even the score at 16-16.
The two teams spend the second quarter going back and forth as the Bulldogs had a 22-20 lead after a Rieman basket before two free throws by Austin Brown and a Schroeder putback returned the lead to Leipsic. A Rieman basket tied the game at 24-24 before Mangas hit a three-pointer (his 1,000th point) and Derek Steffan followed a short time later with a three that put the Vikings up six. Leipsic went on to take a 34-27 lead into halftime as Mangas closed out the first half scoring hitting two of three free throw.”
The Vikings threatened to break the game open late in the third quarter as they took a 10-point lead at 50-38 on two free throws by Mangas and a basket. Vorhees, who was slowed by the Viking defense after 10 first-quarter points, stopped the run before Mangas and Darbyshire ended the third quarter trading threes.
Schroeder added 11 points to the Viking win and Steffan added five points.
Vorhees led the Bulldogs with 18 points. Vorhees did miss a portion of the second quarter with foul trouble. Rieman added 10 points to the Grove total and Darbyshire had nine points.