|Cougars’ clutch foul shooting late downs Big Green|
|Monday, December 10, 2012 11:30 AM|
The game brought back memories of when the two schools used to play against each other several years ago.
The Cougars used some clutch fourth-quarter foul shooting to come away with the win 43-37.
For more than three quarters, Ottoville gave the Cougars all they could handle, battling to a 28-all tie to end the third quarter before the Cougars got a big 3-pointer from senior forward A.J. Smith to give them a cushion.
“I thought we did a great job defensively,” explained Ottoville coach Todd Turnwald. “The kids did a great job executing our game plan. It just came down to executing at the end - little things like rebounding and foul shots.”
The Big Green came out and attempted to slow the game down on the offensive side of the ball and did, shooting only 29 times and holding Van Wert to 33.
Van Wert was 13-of-33 (39%) from the field, including 7-of-18 on 2-point field goals. Ottoville actually shot better on the night, making 14-of-29 shots (48%). The difference came from 3-point range and the free-throw line. The Cougars made 11-of-17 free throws (65%) and 6-of-15 3 pointers (40%), while the Big Green shot 8-of-13 (62%) from the charity stripe and 3-of-9 (33%) from long range.
The first quarter found the Cougars coming out strong behind three 3-pointers by senior Joey Hurless and junior Kyle Keber. The Big Green only came away with six markers for the quarter and trailed 11-6 at the break.
The second quarter saw the momentum starting to swing with the Big Green outscoring the visitors 10-9 for the stanza. The Big Green, behind some clutch shooting by senior Ryan Honigford (5 points) and junior Luke Schimmoeller (3 points), cut into the Cougars’ lead at halftime to 20-16.
The Big Green, with only 11 players on the roster, gave the Cougars all they wanted throughout the contest, especially in the third quarter. Brothers Luke and Derek Schimmoeller led the Big Green’s third-quarter attack with four points apiece. The Cougars’ shots also started to not fall during the period and found themselves in foul trouble with Hurless, Keber and junior Matt Bidlack flirting with foul trouble throughout the second half. As time expired for the quarter, the score was knotted at 28 apiece as the Big Green outscored the Cougars 12-8.
As many close games are determined throughout the year, foul shooting is so crucial late in the game. The Cougars throughout the period brought the ball out and controlled their possessions, forcing the Big Green to foul to get the ball back. The Cougars stepped up during the final period by going 8-13 and outscoring the Big Green 15-9 to pull out the win.
Bidlack came up huge for the Cougars as he calmly stepped to the line late in the game and dropped four straight from the stripe.
The Big Green (1-1) had three players in double figures as (Derek) Schimmoeller, (Ryan) Honigford and (Luke) Schimmoeller had 11, 10 and 10 points, respectively, for the home squad. The Big Green will open the PCL season tonight as they travel to Columbus Grove for a 6 o’clock JV start (2 quarters JV and 12 minutes of grade-school action).
The Cougars (2-1) were led by Hurless and senior AJ Smith (7 points in the 4th) with 13 and 11 points, respectively. The Cougars will be right back in action tonight on the road as they travel to Coldwater for a 6 o’clock JV start.
The Cougars won the JV game by a score of 27-9 behind Nick Keber’s eight points. The Big Green was led by Dustin Trenkamp with five points.
VAN WERT (2pt. 3pt. FT Tot)