After losing its regularseason meeting with Ottawa- Glandorf by 21 points, 57-36, Archbold knew it would be a huge task to get past the Titans in their Division III regional boys basketball semifinal at Elida, Wednesday, March 10.
With the score tied at 37 after three quarters, the Titans outscored the Streaks by four points in the final eight minutes to win 52-48.
“Our kids played a very, very gutty game, and we competed well,” said Joe Frank, AHS head coach.
“They (O-G) made a bunch of plays, and that was the difference in the game.
“I had no doubt in my mind that we would compete with them. I wasn’t going to say that we were going to win.
“I just knew that we’d compete for 32 minutes, which is exactly what we did, and as a coach that’s all I could ask for.”
Keeping It Close
O-G grabbed the early momentum. The Titans smothered the Streaks defensively for a 13-4 lead.
Archbold went to its inside game and leaned on Ashton Kammeyer, who scored five points as AHS was down 16- 10 after one.
“We got a little helter-skelter, which is what they (O-G) wanted,” said Frank. “We didn’t handle it as well as we hoped we would.
“We fought through some contact and tried to play as hard as we could. They made a few more plays than us.”
Brennen Blevins pushed O-G’s lead back to nine with a basket, but Kammeyer converted a free throw and Noah Gomez hit a short jumper to close to within five, 18-13.
Archbold slowed down the Titans’ offense but still trailed 24-19 at the half.
DJ Newman scored the first four points of the second half, pulling Archbold within a point, 24-23, with 44 seconds off the clock.
Owen Nichols canned a three-ball, but Alex Roth matched the Titan with a three of his own.
A Colin White layup pushed the lead back to three, but Newman stepped back and buried a trey of his own to tie the game at 29 with 5:40 left in the period.
After O-G scored the next four points, the Streaks, powered by six Kammeyer points, went on an 8-2 run to take their first lead, 37-35, since they were up 2-0.
Nichols scored the final bucket of the third to tie the game at 37 as the teams headed into the final eight minutes.
Archbold stayed on point with its inside game and got a pair of buckets by Kammeyer to lead 41-37.
“He was obviously a huge factor in the game tonight,” said Frank. “He was aggressive. He wanted the ball and posted and he got some confidence in there, and they had a hard time guarding him.”
A technical foul was called on Frank with 4:59 left. Blevins converted one of the two free throws.
Austin Roth answered with a three to give Archbold its biggest lead of the game, 44-38, with 3:59 left.
O-G turned up the defensive pressure over the next three minutes, forcing the Streaks into some costly turnovers that resulted in a 12-0 Titan run. Blevins scored eight of those points to go up 49-44.
Newman stopped the run with 1:05 remaining, but the Streaks trailed by three and were forced to foul.
Nichols hit one free throw to lead 50-46 with 29 seconds left.
Archbold looked for a good shot but Gomez had his pocket picked, and O-G retained possession.
On the inbounds pass, Archbold got a steal that led to a Kammeyer basket, and Archbold trailed 50-48.
Nichols was fouled again. He iced the win by draining both free throws.
The Streaks could only hope to get fouled on a successful three-point attempt, but Austin Roth’s shot was no good and O-G held on for the 52-48 win.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the group,” said Frank. “After getting beaten like that the first time, to come back and play with them down to the wire– you can’t ask for more than that.
“It was important tonight to go out there and compete, and we did. It showed it was important to them by the way they played.”
Kammeyer led Archbold with 18 points, while Newman chipped in 15.
Nichols led all scorers with 22 points. Blevins contributed 13.
The Streaks outscored the Titans from the field, 42-40, but the Titans were 12-17 at the foul line while Archbold was 6-9.
The Titans won the rebounding battle, 21-15.
Noah Gomez, Kobe Kennedy, Austin Roth, Jaden Schulze, Trey Theobald, and Kenny Williams suited up for the final time for AHS.
In their four-year journey, the seniors witnessed or were part of three 20-win seasons, two Northwest Ohio Athletic League titles, four sectional titles, two district titles, and a regional runner-up finish.
The Streaks finished 21-5 overall.
“It all starts with senior leadership,” said Frank. “I had an unbelievably great senior group, and it was all about the team.
“They didn’t care about individual accolades. They just wanted to do what was best to help this team win.
“Our underclassmen follow their lead, and there are some pretty good leaders to follow.
“On the floor they’re top notch kids, and they are going to be a lot more successful off the floor than they were on the floor, and that says something.”
ARCHBOLD (48) – Gomez 2,
Alex Roth 7, Austin Roth 6, Newman
15, Kammeyer 18. Totals 19-6-48.
OTTAWA-GLANDORF (52) –
Fuka 2, Schimmoeller 5, Blevins 13,
Schmenk 2, Kaufman 4, Nichols 22,
White 4. Totals 18-12-52.
AHS 10 9 18 11 – 48
OGHS 16 8 13 15 – 52