Streaks Win District Title
“A sectional championship is big,” said Doug Krauss, AHS head coach. “A district championship is bigger, and now you are one of the Sweet 16 teams left in your division. It doesn’t get any better than that.
“It’s a great feeling and a great accomplishment for our seniors.”
Played at the premiere gym for basketball in northwest Ohio, the two squads met at Napoleon’s Grand Canyon.
Playing in front of a sold-out standing-room-only crowd, the Streaks had to use a strong second half to lay claim to their sixth district title in nine years.
After a low-scoring first half, AHS used a strong third quarter and polished off the Panthers (17-6) in the fourth to advance to the regional semifinal, tonight, Wednesday, at Bowling Green State University.
Paulding controlled the opening tip, but the Blue and Gold got on the scoreboard first, converting a pair of Panther turnovers into a 4-0 lead.
The Panthers got on track with a three-pointer from Travis Keeran and a deuce by Derrick Pease.
Trailing 5-4, Archbold looked to narrow the gap but Pease came up with a steal and went the length of the court for a 7-4 Paulding advantage.
The first period closed with the score knotted at 8.
The two squads exchanged baskets in the second as the first half ended with the score tied at 18.
“Paulding did a nice job in their zone defense,” said Krauss. “It really pushed us out. We obviously didn’t do a good job of attacking it in the first half.”
Streaks Take Control
Paulding came out in the second half looking to keep the Streaks contained by their zone defense, but Archbold had found a weakness.
Luke Kammeyer spotted an open Garrett Morton for two to open the third.
With Paulding struggling offensively, Morton again dumped in two points from the middle of the Panther defense.
Paulding’s Devan Bermejo rained a three to close the gap to 22-21.
The Streaks came right back, scoring the next six points.
Kammeyer scored on a put-back, Telly Fricke drove into the middle of the Panther defense and dished off to Morton for two more, and Fricke hit a 10-footer for a 28-21 lead.
“We made an adjustment in the second half to get Garrett (Morton) the ball a little more, and it seemed to be a pretty good move,” said Krauss.
“Garrett is a pretty good player. He has a great pullup jumper, a nice mid-range shot, he’s hard to guard, and our kids are looking to get him the ball.”
Shawn Brewer, Paulding head coach, called a time-out to settle his squad.
Logan Stoller hit a pair of free throws for PHS. Fricke answered by draining a three.
Daniele Guarnaschelli closed the gap to 31-25 as the quarter came to a close. Coming up with a steal, the Paulding junior went the length of the court for two.
Archbold scored the first 10 points in the fourth for a 41- 25 lead. Fricke hit a jumper, and Morton added two from the foul line. Morton spotted Kammeyer, who dished off to Tyson Dietrich for two more. Zeb Frank capped off the run by draining a three, which brought the Archbold fans to their feet.
The Panthers finally put a stop to the run when Grant Harder hit from underneath, but the damage was done. Trailing by 10 there was still 5:40 left, but Archbold didn’t let up.
“We lost track of Archbold a couple of times, and Archbold moved the ball better in the second half,” said Brewer. “Archbold was circling around, and when their guys got open they knocked the shot down.”
“That is what good teams do. They put us away.”
Frank hit another three and Morton, who led the team with 21 points, hit one at the foul line.
Paulding had a four-point spurt with Keeran hitting two at the foul line and Pease driving the baseline for two, but the crowd could feel the district championship heading to Archbold.
The Panthers needed to stop the clock and were forced to foul in the closing minutes. The Streaks took advantage, hitting 10 of 12 in the closing minutes for the 56-39 final.
Fricke chipped in 12 points along with nine from Frank. Paulding was led by Bermejo with 13. Pease and Keeran chipped in eight each.
Archbold out-rebounded the Panthers 29-14 and shot 51% from the field. Paulding was 40% from the field.
|ARCHBOLD||(56) -||Giesige 2,|
|Morton||21, Frank||9, Fricke 12,||Kammeyer|
|4,||Dietrich||8. Totals 16-||18-56.|
|PAULDING||(||39) - Pease||8, Bermejo|
|13,||Keeran||8, Stoller 2,||Guarnaschelli|
|4,||Harder 4. Totals||14-7-|
|AHS||10||8 13 25||- 56|