|Updated: 1:30 a.m., BGHS wins sectional with victory over Napoleon (3-1-13)|
|Written by Thomas Schmeltz Sentinel Sports Editor|
|Saturday, 02 March 2013 00:20|
Behind key 3-pointers from Evan Gardner and resiliency in the final minutes, the Bobcats were 52-48 winners over Napoleon in a Division II sectional final.
The win earned BG a berth in the district semifinal for the first time since 2006 and it is just the second time the Bobcats have advanced to the district in head coach Von Graffin’s 11 years. PHOTO GALLERY
“This doesn’t happen very often in Bowling Green,” Graffin said.
BG, now 14-10 overall, will play Sandusky Perkins (19-5) on Wednesday at 8 p.m. at Bowling Green State University’s Stroh Center.
“It means a lot ... Just getting there in itself is big,” said senior Andrew Herringshaw. “We know we have a chance to win it too, so we have to come prepared and hopefully we can get a district championship as well.”
Gardner, who finished with 10 points, hit two 3-pointers in the final 4:40 to help BG maintain a slim lead throughout the fourth quarter.
The Bobcats led 36-26 with 4:02 remaining in the third quarter before Napoleon rattled off eight unanswered points. Wildcats forward Jordan Lauf capped the run when he went strong into the paint against BG’s Vitto Brown and pounded in a layup while he was fouled. After Lauf converted the free throw, Napoleon trailed 36-34 with 7:13 to play.
Lauf, a University of Toledo commit, finished with 26 points and 14 rebounds, while Brown, a University of Wisconsin commit, finished with 18 points and 14 rebounds.
Minutes later, with BG clinging to a 41-39 lead, Gardner hit a triple from the left wing to put the Bobcats up 44-39 with 4:40 remaining.
“We hit some big shots down the stretch and changed up the defense a little bit,” Gardner said. “We felt that gave us a little bit of an edge.”
Napoleon, now 9-14, rallied when Bryant Schlade made a contested inside basket. Schlade got a steal at midcourt on BG’s next possession and broke away for an easy layup to make it 44-43, BG, with 2:44 on the clock.
Graffin quickly called timeout, and on the next possession Gardner pushed the lead back to 47-43 with a 3-pointer, again from the left wing.
The Wildcats got back within 47-45 just over a minute later, but Brown scored BG’s next five points to help seal the win.
“Even though (Lamontá) Stone hadn’t scored much ... When LaMontá was able to draw Evan’s defender, that was huge and Evan knocked in a huge shot for us,” Graffin said.
Herringshaw, who did not score in BG’s sectional semifinal win over Bryan, knocked down four 3-pointers, on his way to scoring 16 points against Napoleon.
The senior guard hit three of his triples in the first half, where BG built a 27-23 lead.
“I was pretty upset with myself the first game so I knew I had to get myself going if I want to contribute,” Herringshaw said. “I came out shooting and they went down.”
It was the third time that the Bobcats knocked off the Wildcats, a Northern Lakes League opponent. BG was 65-53 and 70-68 winners over Napoleon during NLL play this year.
“It was a tough battle,” Gardner said. “We knew they were going to come out and compete.”
|Last Updated on Saturday, 02 March 2013 08:44|
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