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(Updated: 11:45 p.m.) Otsego boys still undefeated in NBC with win over Eastwood (01-24-13) PDF Print E-mail
Written by THOMAS SCHMELTZ/Sentinel Sports Writer   
Thursday, 24 January 2013 23:08
Otsego's Tommy Rodgers (1) drives to the basket as Eastwood's Jordan Faykosh (40) defends. (Photo: Shane Hughes/Sentinel-Tribune)
LUCKEY — A solid second half followed a shaky first half for Otsego’s boys basketball team, Thursday night at Eastwood High School.
The Knights turned a two-point halftime deficit into a 64-55 win over the Eagles to remain undefeated in the Northern Buckeye Conference. PHOTO GALLERY
Otsego, 13-1 overall and 8-0 in the NBC, had four players score in double figures and received solid contributions off the bench en route to the win.
Eastwood trailed 54-50 with just over three minutes to play, but Otsego closed the contest on a 9-5 scoring run over the final 2:58.
“They’re all big, especially the second time through,” Otsego head coach Jim Bostdorff said of the magnitude of the victory. “Regardless of where you’re at in the league, there are no secrets. Everybody has seen everybody. Everybody knows tendencies of kids.”
The Eagles held a 26-24 advantage at the half, but Otsego went into a press defense halfway through the third quarter, causing Eastwood to commit six turnovers in the period.
The press helped the Knights out-score Eastwood 40-29 in the second half.
“That definitely caught us off guard a little bit,” Eagles head coach Matt Routson said of the press. “We didn’t handle it as well as we should have. It gave (Otsego) some momentum and that was probably one of the turning points in the game.”
John Thomas’ 3-pointer with 30 seconds left in the third quarter gave Otsego a 42-40 lead. The triple was the start of a 9-0 scoring run which carried into the fourth quarter, giving the Knights a 48-40 advantage.
After a sluggish first half, Otsego’s A.C. Limes and Thomas combined for 20 points in final 16 minutes. Thomas and Limes finished with 13 and 10 points, respectively.
“Ultimately, we got some stops and were able to run the floor a little bit in the second half and the ball got in the paint where it needs to,” Bostdorff said.
Jerome Griffin scored a team-high 17 points for Otsego, knocking down three triples, one of which cut Eastwood’s first-half lead to 26-24 with two seconds left in the second quarter.
Griffin was also 4-of-4 from the free-throw line.
“John and A.C. inside together are tough for teams,” Bostdorff said. “We still feel like, offensively, that’s where we need to start. That works pretty good for us because when guys collapse on our posts, then guys like Griffin step outside and bury threes.”
“We kind of tried to take Limes away a little bit and because of that we left some shooters open and they knocked down shots,” Routson said of the defensive strategy.
Ryan Smoyer added 13 points for Otsego, and Jalen Myers provided solid minutes off the bench scoring eight points.
Eastwood, which is now 5-11 overall and 5-4 in the NBC showed the strides it has made throughout a trying season. The Eagles built a 22-12 lead in the second quarter and looked as if they were poised to knock off the conference’s top team.
“The guys have bought into what we’re trying to do,” Routson said. “They’re really starting to understand and work together.”
Jake Schmeltz scored a game-high 25 points for Eastwood, while Kevin Sweeney and Steven Bradley each added eight.
Schmeltz hit four triples in the contest, three in the first half to help the Eagles sustain their lead.
“We have no answer for Schmeltz,” Bostdorff said. “He is a heck of a basketball player. We were even in him a few times and he buried a few 30-footers out there. They seemed like 30’s anyway.”
Limes is three points away from breaking Otsego’s all-time scoring record. The Knights host Woodmore on Tuesday night.
Eastwood won the junior varsity game, 41-39. Zach Jacoby led the Eagles with 17 points, while Noah Smith added 14. Schyler Scherff led Otsego with 13 points.

Rodgers, 1-2—4; Myers, 3-2—8; Downs, 0-0—0; Griffin, 2-3-4—17; Smoyer, 2-1-5—12; Thomas, 2-2-3—13; Limes, 4-2—10. TOTALS: 14-6-18—64.
Peters, 1-0—2; Sweeney, 2-4—8; Flipse, 0-0—0; Bradley, 4-0—8; Schmeltz, 4-4-5—25; Rahe, 0-0—0; Bockbrader, 0-0—0; Faykosh, 2-0—4; Bess, 0-1-0—3; Hoodlebrink, 2-1—5. TOTALS: 15-5-10—55.
OTSEGO    9    15    18    22    —64
EASTWOOD    12    14    14    15    —55
Junior varsity: Eastwood, 41-39.
Last Updated on Friday, 25 January 2013 10:52

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