HOLLAND — After Eastwood opened on a 9-0 run, Archbold outscored the Eagles 59-22 the rest of the way as the Blue Streaks rolled to a 59-36 Division III sectional semifinal tournament victory Wednesday at Springfield High School.
Archbold junior guard Cade Brenner scored a game-high 27 points with five rebounds and two steals, junior guard Jayden Seiler had 14 points and four rebounds and junior forward Chase Miller, standing all of 5-foot-11, scored two points but had 11 rebounds.
Brenner and Seiler were the two guys Eastwood wanted to stop, but it just didn’t happen.
“They’ve got some players who can really play,” Eastwood coach Jason Faykosh said. “We knew their two players coming in, and a lot of our gameplan coming in was to stop them, and they still got some good baskets.
“They are just good players and a good team, and I think they are peaking at the right time.”
Senior guard Case Boos scored 14 points and senior center Brady Weaver had 10 points and five rebounds to lead the Eagles.
Boos was the guys the Blue Streaks wanted to stop, and Archbold coach Joe Frank liked how his team got the job done.
“It’s called being locked-in, laser-like focused, and guys are saying, ‘I am going to get the job done,’” Frank said.
“That is a pretty dangerous team offensively and obviously Case Boos is scary every time he touches the ball, but we did a good job,” Frank continued.
“We kept him from getting the basketball most of the time, and we were close enough to still contest the shots on the other guys and that was the key because they have other guys who can shoot the three-ball, too.”
After Archbold missed its first seven shots and went down by nine points, the Blue Streaks scored the final 11 points of the opening quarter, taking the lead when Seiler scored on a dish from sophomore guard Sonny Phillips.
Archbold continued their dominance in the second quarter, taking a 20-12 lead off a basket by junior guard Cade Brenner, completing a 20-3 run dating back to midway through the first quarter.
However, Eastwood closed the half on a 6-0 run, closing the gap to five, 30-25, at the half.
Then, Archbold’s defense was merciless, not allowing the Eagles to even put anything on the scoreboard in the third quarter. Eastwood went 0-for-8 from the field as the Blue Streaks expanded their lead to 41-25.
Eastwood did not get a second half score until Weaver scored in the paint with 6:35 remaining in the game. By that time, the Streaks were up 43-27 and well on their way to advancing.
When Archbold finally emptied its bench of starters with 2:50 remaining in the game, the Blue Streaks had outscored the Eagles 25-3 in the second half.
Brenner said the Blue Streaks learned a lesson from the first time the two squads met, a 62-59 Archbold win on Eastwood’s floor.
“The first time we played them it was closer,” Brenner said. “We were up by a lot, but we let them get a run in the fourth quarter, so once we got up in this game. we just had to make sure we didn’t let them get back into this game.”
Archbold had just two turnovers, shooting 40% (19-for-48) from the field, made 12-of-14 free throws (86%), outrebounded the Eagles, 37-25, and forced eight Eastwood turnovers.
Phillips, who is also 5-10, had eight points and seven rebounds, junior forward Stephen Diller and sophomore Evan Wendt scored three points apiece, and junior guard Josiah Gomez and sophomore center Micah Nofziger scored two apiece for the Blue Streaks.
Eastwood senior guard Noah Smith scored seven points, senior guard A.J. Thompson scored three, junior center Ian Sibbersen scored two points, and senior guard Tristan Schuerman had six rebounds.
The Eagles made 11-of-37 shots (30%) from the floor and were 7-for-13 from the charity stripe (54%). Eastwood, the higher seed, sees their season end at 15-8.
Archbold improves to 12-11 and on Friday, advances to take on Tinora, another lower seed who won Wednesday, defeating a Paulding squad that had beaten the Rams by 23 (51-28), earlier this season.
The Rams, 10-13, came from behind to defeat the Panthers (13-10), 49-46, in overtime.