(updated: 10:30 p.m.) Smoyer leads Otsego past Eastwood (01-23-14) PDF Print E-mail
Written by JORDAN CRAVENS/Sentinel Staff Writer   
Thursday, 23 January 2014 22:54
Otsego's Morgan Smoyer (24) defends a shot by Eastwood's Aubrey Peters (32) during their game Thursday night. (Photo: Shane Hughes/Sentinel-Tribune)
LUCKEY — Reagan Boice’s 3-pointer with 16 seconds remaining nearly gave Eastwood girl’s basketball team its second league win of the season.
But Otsego’s Morgan Smoyer had other plans as the sophomore post player grabbed an offensive rebound and scored at the other end to give her team a 29-28 win in the final seconds of the game on Thursday.  PHOTO GALLERY
Smoyer was just one point shy of a triple-double (11 rebounds, 10 blocked shots and nine points) in the Knights’ Northern Buckeye Conference victory.
Otsego is now 7-8, 5-4, while Eastwood dropped to 2-12, 1-8.
“We kept battling and, after being down, we could have hung our heads, but we didn’t,” Otsego coach Scott Bernthisel said.
After Boice drained the 3-pointer, Bernthisel called his final timeout and drew up an offensive set. The play called for a lob pass into Abby Hesselschwardt in the post.
“It nearly worked perfectly, except Abby was supposed to make the shot. But Morgan was there for the offensive rebound,” Bernthisel said.
Hesselschwardt and Madeline Asmus added seven points each for Otsego.
Boice had a game-high 14 points for Eastwood.
Both teams shot poorly from the field and struggled under defensive pressure, each committing more than 20 turnovers.
“Give credit to Eastwood. They played better defense than we did and they used their physicality against us well,” Bernthisel said.
While it was a loss for her team, Eastwood coach Lindsay Ross considered the game a moral victory for her squad.
“The girls played great. All five girls who were on the court, no matter who it was, played hard and they played with heart,” Ross said. “Unfortunately, we did not come out with a ‘W,’ but it was in our minds.”
Eastwood controlled the tempo of the game and was effective in switching up its defenses to keep Otsego off-balance.
“It’s a step-by-step process,” Ross said. “We aren’t getting the wins, but every game we are seeing some new things from our players, something positive.”
Otsego held a narrow 13-12 halftime lead, but the two teams began trading leads early in the third quarter. Otsego held a 20-18 advantage heading into the fourth quarter, but the battle for the lead continued right up until the final seconds of the game.
It was late in the third quarter and into the final eight minutes that Smoyer found her groove on offense after being held to just one point in the first half.
“The frustration motivated me,” Smoyer said. “I wanted to work hard on the defensive end.”
She scored eight of her nine points in the second half.
But more importantly, she served as an anchor for the Knights’ defense.
“It makes our defense work,” Bernthisel said of Smoyer. “It takes a lot of pressure off of us and we can do a better job defending the three-point line.”
Otsego allowed only one 3-pointer in the game, which was the long-range shot by Boice at the tail-end of the fourth quarter.
Otsego also won the junior varsity game 36-11. Brianna Meier had 10 points for Otsego and Ploy Ketkalayarat had five for Eastwood.

Asmus, 2-3—7; Beach, 0-0—0; Hesselschwardt, 3-1—7; Donald, 0-1-0—3; Smoyer, 4-1—9; Wenig, 1-1—3; Gibbs, 0-0–0; DiBartolomeo, 0-0—0. TOTALS: 10-1-6—29.
Albright, 0-2—2; Boice, 3-1-5—14; Jennings, 2-0—4; Peters, 0-2—2; Hayward, 3-0—6; Ameling, 0-0—0; Klink, 0-0—0; Skibicki, 0-0—0. TOTALS: 8-1-9—28.
OTSEGO    4    9    7    9    —29
EASTWOOD    8    4    6    10    —28
Junior varsity: Otsego 36-11.
Last Updated on Friday, 24 January 2014 09:56

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