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Blackbirds Keep Pace In BBC, Fall To Evergreen




Sam Rychener dunks the ball in Pettisville’s non-league game with Evergreen, Saturday, Feb. 16.– photo by Mario Gomez

Sam Rychener dunks the ball in Pettisville’s non-league game with Evergreen, Saturday, Feb. 16.– photo by Mario Gomez

Pettisville won an important Buckeye Border Conference game, Friday, Feb. 15, when the Birds defeated Fayette 59-43 in the Bird Cage to move to 10-1 BBC.

Stryker (11-1) has clinched a share of the conference title.

The Birds (15-6) travel to Edon, Friday, Feb. 22, and can share the BBC title with a win.

“We have a big week coming up,” said Brian Leppelmeier, PHS head coach.

“Traveling to Edon to try to clinch a share of the title should be enough motivation for our kids.”

Evergreen visited the Bird Cage, Saturday, Feb. 16, and left with a 60-46 non-league win.

PHS 59, Fayette 43

Sam Rychener scored six of Pettisville’s nine firstquarter points as the Birds led 9-8. Mitchell Avina hit a three-pointer for the other three points.

Clayton Pheils, Porter Maginn and Jose Aguilar each scored five points in the second to lead Fayette (11-9, 7-4 BBC) to a 23-19 halftime advantage.

PHS put the clamps down defensively in the third, holding the Eagles to five points while scoring 17 for a 36-28 advantage going into the fourth.

Graeme Jacoby scored eight points and Logan Rufenacht had seven in the final eight minutes while Detric Yoder hit six of eight free throws to put the game out of reach.

Trey Keefer scored 13 of Fayette’s 15 fourth-quarter points.

Four PHS players scored in double figures, led by Jacoby with 17. Yoder scored 15, Rychener 14, and Rufenacht, 10.

Keefer led all scorers, with 20.

Evergreen 60, PHS 46

It was the final game for seven PHS seniors. Rufenacht, Rychener, Yoder, Eli Grieser, Austin Horning, Caleb Keim, and Canidate Vickery played their final game on the PHS floor.

Evergreen drained four of the team’s eight threes in the first quarter, but the Birds kept pace as the first period ended in a tie at 18.

The lead changed hands three times early in the second quarter before Evergreen opened a 30-23 lead with 3:30 left in the half.

Pettisville scored the next seven points– energized by a Rychener slam dunk– to tie the game at 30 with one minute left in the half, but the Vikings went into the locker room up 32-30.

Evergreen went on a 7-0 run in the third to jump in front 39-30, but then Pettisville went on a 5-0 run to come to within four, 39-35.

The Vikings scored on a pair of layups before Yoder ended third-quarter scoring with EHS on top, 43-37.

The Birds got no closer than four points in the final period after a Yoder three closed the gap to 46-42 with 5:11 left.

The Birds went cold and costly turnovers enabled the Vikings to take advantage with a 14-4 advantage down the stretch.

“I thought our kids played as hard as we could in that situation,” said Leppelmeier. “We weren’t able to stretch the floor.

“They are very long, and I thought they did a good job of using their length to make our post catches tough.

“It’s good to play teams like Evergreen, because we find out when teams take something away we have to make adjustments. I’d rather play in games like this that we have to battle and we have to earn the ‘W.’”

Yoder led PHS with 16 points. Jacoby chipped in 14.

Chandler Lumbrezer and Mason Loeffler scored 22 and 19 points, respectively, for Evergreen.

BOX SCORES
PETTISVILLE (59) – Avina 3,
Rufenacht 10, Yoder 15, Rychener
14, Jacoby 17. Totals 21-14-59.
FAYETTE (43) – Mitchell 2,
Brinegar 6, Pheils 5, Maginn 5,
Keefer 20, Aguilar 5. Totals 16-5-43.
PHS 9 10 17 23 – 59
FHS 8 15 5 15 – 43
JV: Pettisville won 35-29.

PETTISVILLE (46) – Avina 2,
Yoder 16, Vickery 5, Rychener 9,
Jacoby 14. Totals 19-6-46.
EVERGREEN (60) – Hudik 8, C.
Lumbrezer 22, Ruetz 2, Loeffler 19,
Brighton 9. Totals 19-14-60.
PHS 181279-46
EHS 18 14 11 17 – 60
JV: Pettisville won 42-36.


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