|Miller City clinches PCL boys title|
|Monday, February 17, 2014 12:00 AM|
By DAVE BONINSEGNA
MILLER CITY — The Columbus Grove Bulldogs boys basketball team had dominated the Miller City Wildcats in recent years, winner six of the last seven contests.
The last time that the Wildcats beat their Putnam County League foe was in 2010 but Saturday night in Miller City was for the Putnam County League title.
The ’Cats took advantage of an early 9-0 run, dominated the inside game and did something that a Miller City boys basketball team had not done in 20 years as the home team celebrated a PCL title with a 57-41 victory over the Bulldogs.
Adam Niese was a permanent fixture in the low post for the Wildcats, leading the way with 21 points, Adam Drummelsmith added 14 and Jackson Lammers got into double figures with 10, draining three from long range in the win.
The Bulldogs struggled on both sides of the court, shooting 8-of-22 in each half to go 16-of-44 from the field and turning the ball over 20 times. Jace Darbyshire led the Bulldogs with 16 markers and Riley Brubaker added 10 in the effort.
Niese and Darbyshire exchanged 5-0 runs for their teams to open up the contest before the Wildcats took to a 9-0 spurt, finishing the first eight minutes on a Cory Heuerman deuce to give the home team a 16-9 lead at the first stop.
The ’Cats took a 10-point lead on the first basket of the second period on a Lammers’ long ball to make it 19-9 with 6:40 left. Columbus Grove got as close as six when Logan Diller hit a pair from the line to cut the deficit to 23-17 with about a minute before the break but still trailed 27-19 heading into the half.
Grove appeared to be on the comeback trail in the third — the Bulldogs scored the first four points and made it a 27-23 game — but another scoring spree by the hosts extended the lead to 32-23 after Lammers hit his second 3-point shot of the game with just over four minutes left in the frame.
Niese continued to control the low post as the junior collect six of his game-high points in the canto and led his team to a 44-30 advantage after the third stop. Miller City grabbed its biggest lead thus far with 5:01 left in the game when Niese again got a feed under the basket that he converted into two more, giving the home team a 47-30 advantage.
The Wildcats coasted home from there as the chants of “PCL” began to emanate from their student section.
The victory sent the Wildcats to 13-7 overall and 6-1 in the PCL, while Grove falls to 12-7 in all games and 5-2 in League play.
Grove is at Crestview Friday.
Columbus Grove (41)
Jace Darbyshire 6-3-16, Riley Brubaker 4-2-10, Elisha Jones 1-0-2, Logan Diller 1-2-5, Will Vorhees 3-0-6, Tanner Neu 1-0-2. Totals 16-7-41.
Miller City (57)
Jackson Lammers 3-1-10, Jacob Gerten 0-2-2, Cory Heuerman 3-3-9, Adam Drummelsmith 5-2-14, Adam Niese 10-0-21. Totals 21-8-57.
Score by Quarters:
Columbus Grove 9 10 11 11 - 41
Miller City 16 11 17 13 - 57