|Updated: 12:08 a.m., Otsego rallies to beat Elmwood and clinch share of NBC title (2-15-13)|
|Written by By JORDAN CRAVENS, Sentinel Staff Writer|
|Friday, 15 February 2013 23:17|
The 12th-ranked Knights trailed 29-28 to start the fourth quarter, but out-scored the Royals 13-8 in the final eight minutes to post a 41-37 victory.
Otsego improved to 13-2 and 12-1. It can win the league outright with a win over Rossford next Friday. PHOTO GALLERY
“We worked hard for this,” said Otsego coach Jim Bostdorff. “I have a group of seniors who are three-and four-year letter winners who put up with coach Bostdorff and have grown as basketball players and young men. They took their lumps to get here.”
Seniors Ryan Smoyer and A.C. Limes each had 11 points for Otsego. Austin Hoiles had 11 points and 11 rebounds for Elmwood.
“It’s a big thing for our team, but it’s even bigger for our community,” Smoyer said.
Early in the fourth quarter, Otsego took back the lead on back-to-back buckets and went up 32-29. Derick Mobus answered with a basket at the other end, but was issued a technical foul, which sent senior Jerome Griffin to the line. He connected on both free throws to make it 34-31.
Griffin (nine points) extended his team’s lead to five on a layup with 2:05 remaining.
Elmwood managed only two points in the first six minutes of the final quarter before Aaron Arnold hit two free throws to shrink the lead to 36-33 with 1:54 left. A free throw by Limes and a wide-open layup by senior Tommy Rodgers (seven points, three steals) from John Thomas again swelled the lead.
The Royals threatened again, but never got the game closer than three points.
“We didn’t make the big plays down the stretch and they did,” said Elmwood coach Ty Traxler.
“This team deserves to win the league. Jim Bostdorff has been around a long time and he deserves to win,” Traxler added.
Elmwood was the aggressor in the first half and out-rebounded Otsego, 13-8. It also had success from behind the arc and connected for five 3-pointers in the first half. The Royals took a 23-17 lead into halftime.
Otsego went on a 9-0 run to start the second half and out-scored Elmwood 11-6 in the third quarter. The Royals clung to a one-point lead headed into the final quarter.
“We knew they were going to come out a lot more intense in the second half and disrupt us. There was no question they got to us,” Traxler said.
Elmwood mustered only 14 points in the second half, compared to Otsego’s 24.
“Guys who normally score for us didn’t score,” Traxler said. “But it was a team effort and we weren’t getting great looks in the second half like we were in the first half.”
Coming into Friday’s matchup, Bostdorff expected Traxler and the Royals would give his team all it could handle.
“We did not want this game to be a low-scoring affair like it was. We knew if the game was in the 40s, it would be a battle,” Bostdorff said.
As expected, the game became increasingly physical in the fourth quarter.
Otsego got to the free throw line 14 times in the fourth quarter, but made only five shots. For the game, the Knights were 8-of-18 from the free-throw line and Elmwood was 8-of-13.
Elmwood dropped to 13-7 and 7-6.
Otsego won the junior varsity game 46-40. Eric Royer had 10 points for Otsego and Jarrett Childress had 10 points for Elmwood.
ELMWOOD, 37 OTSEGO, 41
Chapman, 0-1-0—3; Foster, 0-5—5; Baxter, 0-1-1—4; Mobus, 3-0—6; Arnold, 1-2—4; Hoiles, 1-3-0—11; Kerr, 0-0—0; Robinson, 2-0—4, TOTALS, 7-5-8—37.
Rodgers, 3-1—7; Myers, 0-0—0; Downs, 0-0—0; Griffin, 2-1-2—9; Smoyer, 3-1-2—11; Thomas, 0-1-0—3; Limes, 4-3—11. TOTALS, 12-3-8—41.
ELMWOOD 15 8 6 8 —37
OTSEGO 12 5 11 13 —41
Junior varsity: Otsego, 46-40.
|Last Updated on Saturday, 16 February 2013 09:03|
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