Pettisville (12-7) got all it wanted from North Central, Friday, Feb. 7, in the Bird Cage, but in the end, the Blackbirds secured their third straight Buckeye Border Conference title with a 48-42 win.
It’s the third BBC title in four seasons for Brian Leppelmeier, PHS head coach.
Pettisville (10-0 BBC) has two BBC games remaining. Fayette and Edon, who are tied for second place, are 6-3.
The Birds dropped two non-conference games– a road game at Evergreen, 53-43, and at home against Hicksville, 48-37.
PHS 48, NC 42
The Blackbirds jumped out to a 12-6 first-quarter lead, but North Central (10-10, 5- 5 BBC) tied the game at 21 at the half.
Graeme Jacoby, Pettisville’s workhorse, scored seven points in the third quarter to help PHS regain the lead heading into the final quarter, 31-26.
Jack Bailey scored 10 of his team-leading 13 points in the fourth, but Pettisville outscored the Eagles 17-16 to clinch the BBC crown.
Jacoby led all scorers with 22 points. Isaac Reynolds added 11.
Pettisville shot 14-32 from the field for 44%, hit four three-pointers, and converted 16-23 free throws.
North Central was 14-33 from the field for 42% with four treys and was 10-15 from the free-throw line.
Hicksville 48, PHS 37
Homecoming festivities were slightly dampened as the Birds lost to the Aces (14- 6).
The first quarter was nip and tuck, with Hicksville leading 12-11 entering the second.
The Birds grabbed a brief 20-18 lead midway through the second, but the Aces scored the final six points of the quarter for a 24-20 halftime advantage.
“I thought we did a good job of being patient on some possessions and getting good looks,” said Leppelmeier.
“I thought we had the pace to the game that we wanted. We wanted to keep them out of rhythm, so I thought our offense was doing a good job of that as well as defensively at the other end.”
Jacoby scored all nine of Pettisville’s third-quarter points, but Hicksville took a 35-29 lead into the fourth.
Pettisville trimmed the lead to four, 39-35 with 3:25 left after a Jacoby free throw.
But the Aces went on a 9-2 run to secure the win.
“When we needed that bucket we came down and just tried a little too hard,” said Leppelmeier.
“Too many turnovers against a great team like Hicksville. You can’t turn the basketball over that many times and expect to come out on top.”
Each team had four players score, but three of four Aces hit double figures.
Jacoby led all scorers with 20 points.
Landon Turnbull led Hicksville with 19 points. Josh Myers added 12 and Jackson Bergman scored 11.
Evergreen 53, PHS 43
Pettisville traveled to Evergreen, Monday, Feb. 3, for a makeup contest.
The Vikings led 20-13 after one and held on to the sevenpoint lead at the half, 29-22.
Mason Loeffler scored 15 second-half points to help the Vikings earn the victory.
Loeffler led all scorers with 28 points. Nate Brighton chipped in 15.
Mitchell Avina was the high man for Pettisville, scoring 18 points including four treys.
Now that tournament draws have been assigned, Leppelmeier said the focus of his team remains the same as always.
“I think our focus stays the same. We have to guard the basketball,” he said.
“We added in a zone, and I think it’s really benefited us. It gives us a couple different looks on the defensive end that we haven’t had in the past.
“We are also getting some kids back.
“We got out of flow in terms of what we had going. We were playing pretty well and then we had a few setbacks.
“We tell our guys with a loss that it needs to bring us closer together.”
PETTISVILLE (43) – Avina 18,
Zuver 3, Leppelmeier 6, Myers 2,
Reynolds 5, G. Jacoby 9. Totals 16-4-
EVERGREEN (53) – E.
Lumbrezer 2, E. Loeffler 6, Brighton
15, Etue 2, M. Loeffler 28. Totals 21-
EHS 20 9 11 13 – 53
JV: EHS won 39-33.
PETTISVILLE (48) – Avina 9,
Leppelmeier 4, C. Jacoby 2, Reynolds
11, G. Jacoby 22. Totals 14-16-48.
NORTH CENTRAL (42) – Bailey
13, Cruz 2, Patten 5, Williams 7,
Justice 5, Hayes 4, Lehsten 6. Totals
PHS 12 9 10 17 – 48
NCHS 6 15 5 16 – 42
JV: NCHS won 44-38.
PETTISVILLE (37) – Avina
6, Leppelmeier 5, C. Jacoby 6, G.
Jacoby 20. Totals 12-9-37.
HICKSVILLE (48) – Myers 12,
Bergman 11, Miller 6, Turnbull 19.
HHS 12 12 11 13 – 48
JV: HHS won 38-27.