Eagles’ lead disappears in 53-45 loss to Comets


By Nicholas Huenefeld

Special to the Sentinel-Tribune

PEMBERVILLE — A sizzling third quarter wasn’t enough for the Eastwood boys basketball team on Friday as Genoa produced a come-from-behind 53-45 victory behind a strong performance from the charity stripe.

With the win, Genoa (14-4, 9-3) moves into a tie for first place in the Northern Buckeye Conference with Fostoria, which defeated Oak Harbor, 70-54, Friday. Eastwood (10-8, 7-4) falls into a tie for third place with Lake, which defeated Rossford, 90-73.

“Obviously, we’re a little disappointed,” said Eastwood coach Jason Faykosh. “We didn’t play our best game, but they’re a really good team so there’s no shame in losing to a team like that, but it stinks having a defensive performance like we did with (Andrew) Badenhop guarding (6-foot-7 Walter) Plantz, holding him to two baskets and not coming away with a win. It was frustrating in that part.”

The Eagles made seven of their 10 field goal attempts in the third quarter, which helped them take a 36-29 lead with 1:25 left.

Genoa’s Denver Stewart answered with a pair of buckets, including one on a third chance offensive rebound before the break, and then he added an old-fashioned three-point play on his team’s first possession of the fourth to complete a personal 7-0 run and even the score.

Eastwood’s Andre Lewis, who led his team with 16 points, made a second chance bucket with just over four minutes left to give the Eagles a 43-42 lead. From there, however, the Comets scored six straight and 12 of the final 15 points. They also finished the game 18-of-26 from the foul line.

In addition to Stewart’s 11 points, fellow seniors Aiden Brunkhorst (17) and Jon Huston (13) combined for 30 for Genoa, which made eight of their final 10 field goal attempts starting with Stewart’s late third quarter heroics.

“It’s always great when you have seniors that step up,” said Genoa coach Jon Sandwisch. “They work hard for it and when the time arises, they always step up.”

Defensively, Badenhop limited Plantz to eight points while the Eagles also held Genoa to a 1-for-8 performance from long distance.

Eastwood, however, wasn’t able to take advantage, finishing 4-for-20 from long distance — with three of those makes coming from Badenhop in the first half.

“I thought we executed really well,” Faykosh said. “Our shots just didn’t fall. We didn’t shoot it.

“Last couple games, we’ve been shooting really well from three, and we didn’t shoot it real well from three at all tonight. We missed a couple free throws, missed some bunnies around the rim. Just not a great shooting night in general for us.”

Eastwood scored five of the first six points in the game, but Genoa battled back to tie it at 10 apiece through one before eventually taking a 21-15 lead with just over a minute left in the half.

The Eagles responded with a Badenhop three, forced a pair of turnovers and got a strong layup from Dayquan Oliver in the final seconds to complete a 6-0 run and take a 22-21 lead to the break.

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