|Grove stays perfect with victory over Jeffcats|
|Friday, December 13, 2013 9:15 PM|
By JIM METCALFE
COLUMBUS GROVE — Columbus Grove’s boys basketball team got off to a quick start against invading Jefferson Friday night and rode that to a 60-45 Northwest Conference triumph at the Dog Pound.
That start: the Bulldogs (3-0, 1-0 NWC) scored the first eight points and led 13-2 after the first eight minutes. The Bulldogs, anchored by 6-7 senior Will Vorhees (15 markers, 11 boards, 4 blocks), held the Wildcats (2-3, 0-1) without a fielder in the period — 0-of-10 (16-of-49 for the game, 3-of-17 triples, for 32.7%) — hit 6-of-13 on their own end, with six different players scoring a basket. Sophomore Dalton Hicks hit 3-of-4 free throws in the final 2:24 for the visitors’ only points and when Noah Kohls hit a second-chance 12-footer with 50 ticks on the board, Grove led 12-3.
“We didn’t play bad defense — in fact, we played pretty good defense most of the game. We just couldn’t shoot the ball,” Jefferson coach Marc Smith said. “We held them to 22 points the first half, so we did a nice job there. However, it’s hard to beat a quality team like Columbus Grove when your two top scorers, Trey (Smith) and Ross (Thompson), score two points the first half. Both teams were well prepared; it’s a league game and we each know each other so well. They take away what you do best.”
Grove’s sagging man-to-man defense — with junior Joey Warnecke tightly guarding Jefferson’s leading scorer, the sophomore Smith (28 points a game), doing most of the work as Smith was held scoreless in the first half — held the Wildcats off the board for the first 3:26 until senior Austin Jettinghoff (12 markers) hit a basket at 4:34. Grove’s lead grew to 22-9 with two singles by junior Jace Darbyshire (14 markers, 6 dimes) with 36.2 ticks left.
“Joey is such a tough defender; he’s 5-10 and was guarding a 6-5 kid tonight. He’s so strong and tough; he’s a phenomenal defender,” Grove coach Ryan Stechschulte said. “Smith and Thompson are such matchups because they can beat you outside, off the bounce and on the block. I think we did a good job with both of them but we had to give up points elsewhere.”
Jefferson freshman point guard Jace Stockwell was limited to three assists and three boards (averaging twice that for the season for both) due to foul trouble, eventually fouling out midway through the fourth.
Jefferson finally seemed to find a key in the third period, with Smith scoring seven of his 10 points; He scored his first points a 5:28 on an inside basket and senior Tyler Mox’s pump-fake-and-drive for a layup at 1:45 got the Wildcats within 29-24, forcing Coach Stechschulte to call time. The hosts responded with a 6-2 closing spurt, including a 10-footer by Baily Clement with 8.1 ticks on the board, to secure a 35-26 edge.
Jettinghoff swished a triple from the left corner at 7:11 to start the fourth to and get the visitors within 35-29. The Bulldogs had the answer — a 9-0 spurt behind four from Darbyshire, to open a 44-29 edge on a layin by Vorhees. The closest the Wildcats could get was 46-34 on a bomb by Smith at 4:30. Grove canned 10-of-14 free throws from that point on — 15-of-18 in the fourth and 19-of-23 overall (82.6%) — to stave off the guests.
Jefferson finished 10-of-14 at the line (71.4%), seized 24 boards (8 offensive) as Thompson (8 points) had 10; and 14 turnovers and 20 fouls.
“I told the players in the locker room that we have to improve our practice habits. We played 2 1/2 quarters tonight; that won’t get it done against good teams,” Coach Smith added. “That’s about how we practice: 50-60 percent of our practice, we really work hard — that’s when we played well tonight. Unfortunately, it’s the other part that we don’t and that tends to carry over into games, too. When we did challenge them the second half, Grove responded.”
Grove ended up 20-of-43 fielders (1-of-11 downtown) for 46.4 percent; seized 33 rebounds (7 offensive); and totaled 13 errors and 10 fouls.
“We got good shots the first half, we were ice cold. Fortunately for us, so was Jefferson,” Stechschulte added. “We just were focused on getting better shots the second half. We had good ones before but maybe not ones we’ll shoot a high percentage on.”
In junior varsity action, Grove belted the Wildcats 46-22.
For the Bulldogs, Tanner Neu downed 12 and Bryce Sharrits 11.
Sophomore Josh teman downed eight for the Wildcats (4-1, 0-1).
Both teams return to the court tonight at home (weather permitting): Jefferson entertaining Kalida and Grove bringing in Arlington.
Jace Stockwell 0-0-0, Austin Jettinghoff 4-3-12, Ross Thompson 3-2-8, Trey Smith 3-2-10, Tyler Mox 2-0-4, Nick Fitch 4-0-8, Tyler Rice 0-0-0. Totals 16-10/14-45.
COLUMBUS GROVE (60)
Will Vorhees 6-3-15, Riley Brubaker 2-4-9, Jace Darbyshire 4-6-14, Joey Warnecke 1-4-6, David Bogart 0-0-0, Elisha Jones 1-0-2, Noah Kohls 1-0-2, Gabe Stechschulte 2-0-4, Logan Diller 2-2-6, Tanner Neu 0-0-0, Baily Clement 1-0-2. Totals 20-19/23-60.
Score by Quarters:
Jefferson 3 6 17 19 - 45
Col. Grove 12 10 13 25 - 60
Three-point goals: Jefferson, Smith 2, Jettinghoff; Columbus Grove, Brubaker.
Josh Teman 3-2-8, Cole Arroyo 1-2-4, Alex Neubert 0-0-0, Ryan Wittler 0-0-0, Ryan Goergens 0-0-0, Kyle Wreede 1-0-2, Brandon Herron 0-0-0, Christian Stemen 0-0-0, Grant Wallace 2-2-6, Austin Blanton 0-0-0, Nick Long 0-0-0, Drake Schmitt 0-2-2. Totals 7-8/16-22.
COLUMBUS GROVE (46)
Tanner Neu 4-2-12, Marshall Downing 1-0-2, Corey Schroeder 3-0-7, Colton Grothaus 1-0-2, Bryce Sharrits 5-1-11, Baily lement 0-1-1, Xavier Aguire 0-1-1, Rece Roney 2-0-4, Caiden Grothaus 1-0-3. Totals 18-6/10-46.
Score by Quarters:
Jefferson 0 10 5 7 - 22
Col. Grove 12 10 17 7 - 46
Three-point goals: Jefferson, none; Columbus Grove, Neu 2, Schroeder, Ca. Grothaus.