|Strong 4th quarter pushes Wildcats to tourney win|
|Written by Staff Reports|
|Wednesday, February 27, 2013 1:40 PM|
The Wildcats got the better of the deal, outscoring the Mustangs 29-11 in the final period to grab an 82-69 victory in Division III action at Wapakoneta.
“We wanted to get into a quick pace. We felt that we had better athletes at several positions and didn’t want to let them force a grind-it-out game; that’s what they wanted,” Jefferson coach Marc Smith noted. “We got off to a good start with some pressure defense but we couldn’t do it the whole game. That was the key later in the third period and at the start of the fourth; we made some shots, got into our pressure and it seemed in 30 seconds, went from six down to leading.”
The Mustangs (3-18) held a 58-53 lead at the end of three periods and won the first part of the fourth period 6-5 to lead 64-58. The Wildcats (5-17) got a putback by sophomore Ross Thompson (double-double with a game-high 26 points and 14 boards) at 5:56 and Smith called time. The Wildcats then slapped on their trapping full-court pressure that forced four quick turnovers in the next five Mustang possessions (17 for the game) that resulted in seven points and a 67-64 edge — taking the lead for good on a free toss by senior Zach Ricker at 5:28. The Wildcats continued that trend with their defense doing the damage, building up a 74-64 spread on two singles by Ricker at 2:56. The closest the Mustangs could get the rest of the way was eight as the Red and White canned 10-of-13 free throws in the final period — all in the final 5:28 — to seal the victory.
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