|Big Green stymies Wildcat boys|
|Wednesday, December 19, 2012 1:48 PM|
That meant their matchup zone defense wanted to force the Wildcats to shoot over the top.
After shooting poorly in a Saturday loss to Kalida, the Red and White again suffered an off-night, hitting 9-of-31 from the field (1-of-11 treys) for 29 percent, and Ottoville eventually pulled away to a 47-28 non-conference victory in boys action inside L.W. Heckman Gymnasium.
Though Thompson was a power on the boards with 15 (out of the 26 of the visitors), he was held to a mere seven points. Junior Austin Jettinghoff led the way with nine and senior Zach Ricker added seven, while leading scorer, freshman Trey Smith (averaging around 16 points per game), was held to a single free throw.
“Once more, it came down to hitting some shots. We have kids that are capable of hitting the perimeter shot but it’s a matter of confidence right now; we need that breakout game,” Jefferson head man Marc Smith noted. “All my kids have a green light; my philosophy has always been that if a player gives maximum effort on the defensive end, they have more offensive freedom. We, as a coaching staff, have to figure out ways to put our kids in better scoring positions. We pushed the ball all night but didn’t reward ourselves; at times attacked the basket but not consistently.”
For the Big Green (2-4), they showed tremendous balance from their dribble-drive attack with four in double digits: sophomore Brandt Landin with 12, junior Luke Schimmoeller 11 and 10 each from senior Derek Schimmoeller and senior Ryan Honigford. They shot 18-of-43 from the field (1-of-8 triples) for 41.9 percent.
“That’s great balance for us; the key is that it’s the four we need to score in double digits. We have struggled shooting the ball in the last couple of games, so it was welcome tonight,” Turnwald explained. “For us, it’s about execution. We played three excellent teams: Columbus Grove, Van Wert and St. John’s; tough for three quarters but we faltered in the fourth period each time. Tonight, we really executed well down the stretch and that was welcome.”
Both teams struggled mightily against the other’s defense: Ottoville in its matchup zone and Jefferson (1-5) in its man-to-man. The teams combined for 5-of-21 shooting (2-of-10 for Delphos) and when Jettinghoff hit two free throws at 1:02, the score was tied at 6-6.
The shooting warmed up some in the second stanza, combining for 9-of-20 (5-of-12 by Ottoville). There were three ties and one lead change. When Landin hit a 12-footer at 1:24, the Big Green grabbed the lead at 14-12. Honigford followed with a drive at the 54-second mark and Jettinghoff replied with a 3 from the key at 33 ticks for a 16-15 Ottoville edge. When Luke Schimmoeller hit a jumper from the right elbow with 11 seconds showing, the Green and Gold led 18-15.
The Red and White hit 3-of-6 shots in the third canto but with five turnovers out of their 15 for the game, they didn’t take advantage. They had their final lead of the night at 22-20 on a drive to the hoop by Thompson at 6:40. Two toss by Luke Schimmoeller at 4:31 tied it for Ottoville and when he followed with a bomb from the right corner off an inbound play at 3:07, they never trailed again. Their lead reached 29-23 on a baseline 10-footer by Derek Schimmoeller at 1:10 but Jettinghoff drive to the basket with 30 ticks showing to reduce that to 29-25.
Ottoville then ran their offense to near perfection in the finale, hitting all six of their shots from the field and all six of their free throws (10-of-11 for the game for 90.9%) as Honigford and Landin netted six markers each. They only had one turnover (3 for the game) as they steadily pulled away; Jefferson could only manage seven shots and did not make one. Their only points were from the free-throw line (9-of-11 overall for 81.8%) — two by Ricker at 5:37 to break a 3-minute drought and one by Smith at 2:59.
Jefferson had seven offensive rebounds (sophomore Nick Fitch had six boards all told) and 13 fouls. They will play their first home game of 2012-13 Friday versus Coldwater (6 p.m. junior varsity start).
“Our defensive effort was very solid; once again, it gave us a chance to win the game. These kids work awfully hard during practice and games and it’s frustrating that we haven’t gotten the reward,” Coach Smith added. “We know our defense has to do that every night because of our challenges on offense. The score didn’t reflect how close the game really was. They pulled away at the end, growing their lead. We are just out of sync offensively right now and we will have to see what we need to do to get into a good rhythm.”
Ottoville had 21 boards (Landin led with 9) and nine fouls. They host Tinora Friday.
“We have played that zone for the past year and a half and generally, we have played it well. A couple of teams recently have shot the wall well from the perimeter but mostly, we have managed to stay close to teams,” Turnwald added. “We were aware of Trey and he will be a fine player for a long time. Actually, we were more concerned with Thompson inside; that was the focus even more for us at halftime.”
There was no JV game due to Ottoville’s lack of healthy numbers.