Fostoria spoils Eastwood’s title hopes, 55-40


FOSTORIA — Eastwood had Fostoria playing the kind of basketball the Eagles wanted in the first half, but the Redmen came back with a second half counter punch to win Friday, 55-40.

Fostoria’s win eliminates the Eagles (11-9 overall, 8-5 NBC) from any possible Northern Buckeye Conference championship hopes while the Redmen (16-4, 10-3) remain tied with Genoa (15-5, 10-3) for first place with one league game remaining for each team.

Fostoria closes out the NBC season next Friday at Maumee and Genoa hosts Otsego. If both win, they share the title, if one wins and one loses, the winner will be outright champions.

For Fostoria, it would be the school’s first league title in boys basketball since 2008-09 when Micah Hyde, now playing for the Buffalo Bills in the NFL, led Fostoria to a Northern Ohio League championship. Hyde was at Friday’s game to cheer on his alma mater.

Fostoria coach Thom Loomis says this year’s eight seniors have made an NBC title a priority.

“We’re going to take them one game at a time. We’ve got two left (including non-league game hosting Toledo Waite Tuesday),” Loomis said.

“These kids are winners, they’ve got a goal, they’ve got a dream and we’re going to do everything we can to make their dream come true.”

Fostoria has two 1,000 point scorers, including 6-foot-2 senior guard Machi Johnson, who in their 70-54 NBC win over Oak Harbor the previous Friday passed Dan Hipsher’s 51-year career scoring mark at Fostoria.

Johnson led the Redmen with 23 points, seven rebounds, and three steals. The other 1,000 point scorer currently on the squad is 6-4 senior guard Jordan Ferguson, who scored six points Friday. Both have aspirations of playing college basketball next year but have not committed anywhere yet.

Senior Andrew Badenhop led Eastwood with 13 points, junior Dayquan Oliver scored 10, and junior Andre Lewis scored nine points.

Junior Drew Kachmarik and sophomore Drew Luidhardt scored three points apiece and junior Kadyn Donnell added two points to round out the Eagles’ scoring.

One thing the Eagles did well was holding Fostoria to their third lowest scoring output of the season.

Eastwood’s defense tried to force chaos into Fostoria’s offense, and Lewis had two steals in the second quarter and Kachmarik and Donnell had one apiece in the opening stanza as the Eagles forced six first half turnovers.

“We kept them to a low scoring first half. I think our defense was there — we did what we wanted to do defensively,” Eastwood coach Jason Faykosh said.

Offensively, Badenhop hit a three-point goal at the first quarter buzzer to keep the Eagles to within one, 11-10, and Oliver hit two consecutive triples to tie the game at 16-16 with 2:20 remaining in the first half.

Eastwood had four first half makes from the arc, but still trailed 20-16 at halftime.

The second half Fostoria matched Eastwood’s intensity and the Redmen slowly pulled away, in part because nothing fell for the Eagles.

“They obviously have a lot of playmakers, a lot of scorers,” Faykosh said. “The defense did what we wanted them to do tonight, but offensively shots weren’t falling.

“They are long and athletic around the rim and that affected a lot of shots around the rim, so we didn’t shoot a great percentage. There weren’t a lot of points to be had.”

Eastwood was 13-for-49 for a measly 27%, and that included 6-for-27 (22%) inside the arc and 7-for-22 (32%) outside the arc. To make matters worse, the Eagles were 6-for-12 from the charity stripe and hit just two triples in the second half.

Loomis believes part of the reason for Eastwood’s second half offensive shutdown was the adjustments he made at halftime.

“I told them that defensively we were solid in the first half, but we weren’t doing a great job of sprinting to close out at the three point line, and I thought that’s what kept them hanging around was they made some threes in the first half,” Loomis said.

“The second half we did a much better job of making the adjustment to sprint to the closeout but also to take away the dribble penetration so they weren’t getting the easy kickouts and then we closed out really well.”

Fostoria was 18-for-34 (53%) inside the arc, 2-for-10 beyond the arc, and made 13-of-16 free throws. Fostoria also held a 29-16 advantage off the glass, but the Redmen had 16 turnovers to the Eagles’ 11.

Fostoria sophomore forward Lance Miller scored nine points and junior guard Trent Smith was 6-for-6 from the line and scored eight points.

Sophomore forward Jayceon Tucker had five points and three steals and Kristian Carter-Stokes had four points and four assists for the Redmen.

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