|Charity stripe propels Big Green into sectional final|
|Wednesday, February 27, 2013 1:39 PM|
The game saw the Commodores fight back from an early deficit to take the lead at halftime; however, the second half was all Big Green as they outscored the Commodores 24-15 and went 9-11 from the charity stripe to come away with the sectional win, 41-35.
The Big Green started the contest off strong with 13 points in the first quarter behind sophomore Brandt Landin’s six points. The Commodores rallied back from an early deficit in the quarter to narrow their deficit four points at the quarter break, 13-9.
The second quarter was all Commodores as they outscored the Big Green 11-4. The Commodores used some excellent outside shooting from sophomore Jared Poling to go along with the inside-outside combination of juniors Bruce Hodges and Raheem Johnson to grab and extend their lead to 20-17 going into halftime.
The Commodores held the Big Green scoreless until the 1:41 mark when junior Luke Schimmoeller connected on two foul shots for his team. The Big Green had no field goals in the quarter and got all four of their points in the span via the charity stripe.
Big Green head coach Todd Turnwald knew he had his work cut out for him heading into the locker room to get his squad back on track: “I’m really proud of the kids. We got up early in the first, then got down in the second - but we’ve had a great last few days in trying to work on our preparation. The last few days we’ve had some guest speakers come in and tell our guys to compete and BELIEVE in themselves. We’ve been so close all year and we needed to stop hoping that we can win and start believing that we can win.”
The message worked in the second half as the Big Green stormed back in the third quarter and at the 3:10 mark, captured the lead back from the Commodores 26-25.
The Big Green forced the Commodores out of their game by forcing five turnovers during the third period. Shots were not falling, team fouls started to rise and the composure of the young Commodores started to show as the lead slipped away from them.
The Big Green led 29-28 heading into the final period of play.
The Commodores refused to give up and continued to ride the hot shooting of Poling to stay close but the game truly ended up being won by the Big Green from the charity stripe. The Big Green connected on 15-18 from the charity stripe, compared to the Commodores going 0-5 from the line. Schimmoeller was 8-8 (4-4 in the fourth quarter) for the Big Green, who used that foul line advantage to move on in tournament play with the 6-point win.
The Commodores (7-16) were led in scoring by Poling with a game-high 15 points, followed by Hodges with seven points. The Commodores were 15-of-38 from the field for 39 percent; 0-of-5 from the stripe; hauled in 17 rebounds; and committed 10 (5 in the third quarter) turnovers.
Turnwald was quick to praise the Commodores’ effort on the evening: “Perry has two outstanding kids. Those kids (Poling and Hodges) can flat out play! Poling can really shoot the ball and Hodges can just get to the rim about whenever he wants. Matt does a great job with those kids year in and year out.”
For the victorious Big Green, they were led by Landin and Ryan Honigford with 10 points apiece. From the field, the Big Green shot 34 percent (11-32) and were an excellent 83 percent (15-18) from the foul line. They hauled in 19 rebounds and committed 10 turnovers.
The Big Green (9-14) will continue on into the sectional final Friday night when they take on the Crestview Knights for a 6:15 p.m. start at Van Wert High School.