It may have been an epic defensive battle when Archbold (19-5) and Plymouth (24-0) squared off in the Division III boys basketball regional semifinal, Wednesday, March 17 at Bowling Green State University.
“Wow! Both teams played hard,” said Brad Turson, Plymouth head coach.
“Congratulations to Archbold. They brought it on the defensive end and I thought we did, too.
“We made a few more shots at the end.”
The Archbold defense has been nothing but outstanding all season. Pit it against another strong defensive team that is the fourth-rated team in the state and has a 2000-point scorer, senior Brook Turson, and you have a contest that goes to the wire.
That’s just what fans got. The Big Red came out on top 42-37.
It was Plymouth’s first regional victory in five tries. The school moved from Div. IV to Div. III this year.
“I thought we just came out and played tonight,” said the Plymouth mentor.
“They played great defense and were aggressive with their zone defense,” said Doug Krauss, AHS head coach. “We had shots, but they didn’t fall.
“Sometimes shots fall and sometimes they don’t. We always say if the shots don’t fall we have to give ourselves a chance on the defensive side, and I thought we did that.”
Big Red Leads By
Two At Halftime
A back-and-forth first eight minutes had the Streaks supporting a 15-10 lead, with Turson supplying all the firepower for the Big Red.
Turson scored six of their 10 first-quarter points, with Garrett Morton answering for Archbold. The AHS junior scored six of his eight points in the first quarter, driving the baseline for two as the quarter came to a close.
Despite scoring just three points at the charity stripe in the second, Archbold was down only 20-18 at halftime.
Miller connected on one at the foul line to start the second. The Big Red then went on a 10-0 run with Alex Mowry hitting a trey, Turson adding the next five– three at the charity stripe and a jumper, and Brandon McCalley adding a pair at the foul line for a 20-16 lead.
Clay Giesige hit a pair at the foul line for Archbold as the period ended.
As a team, the Streaks hit just 5-13 at the foul line. Plymouth hit 13-19.
“The foul line did us in,” said Krauss. “We have not been a good foul-shooting team all year. That has been our Achilles heel. We have won in spite of that.
“Tonight, if we make foul shots, we are right there.”
Kammeyer Takes Charge
Archbold got a boost to start the second half with sophomore Luke Kammeyer taking over in the paint.
Kammeyer hit back-toback buckets, giving Archbold a 22-20 lead.
Turson knotted the score with a drive into the paint.
Telly Fricke spotted an open Morton for two. Plymouth scored the next four points for a 26-24 lead.
Kammeyer benefited from a pass from Collin Walker, knotting the score at 26.
McCalley hit a free throw and Turson converted a Streak turnover into two points.
Holding the ball for the last shot of the quarter, Fricke buried a three to tie the score at 29.
McCalley finished with 13 points and led the team with 12 rebounds.
Kammeyer, who fouled out in the fourth, finished with seven points.
“I would have liked to have Luke (Kammeyer) for a few more minutes,” said Krauss. “The quickness of McCalley drew some of those fouls.
“I am not sure what happened on that fourth foul without seeing the video. We thought we could go inside, and when Luke was in there he was very effective for us.”
“We had the momentum,” said Fricke, “and when Kammo (Kammeyer) had to sit, I think momentum switched.”
Big Red Comes Up Big
With the score tied at 29 entering the final eight minutes, Mowry hit a jumper to start the fourth.
Archbold regained the lead, 32-31, when Fricke buried a three-pointer.
Fricke scored on a Plymouth turnover for a 34-31 advantage.
McCalley muscled his way along the baseline for two. Corey Walker answered for a 36-33 lead.
With 3:48 left, Turson, who led all scorers with 23 points, hit back-to-back buckets for a 37-36 lead.
McCalley added two more and the lead was 39-36 with 2:21 left.
“Turson is a player,” said Krauss. “I wish he would have gotten 17 or 18 points. He is really effective at getting to the foul line.
“He is pretty good, and he is the real deal. I thought we did a good job on him; we made him work for his points.”
Fricke, who led Archbold with 13 points, was fouled with 50 ticks left on the clock. He made the front end of the one-and-one but missed his second shot. Turson hauled in the rebound.
Leading 39-37, Turson led the charge up the court. He went to pass cross-court when Sam Miller stepped in front of the pass and started leading a fast break.
Mitch McKenzie was hot on Miller’s footsteps and knocked the ball away. Kammeyer was then whistled for his fifth foul, sending McKenzie to the foul line with 32 seconds left.
“It wasn’t a very smart pass at the time,” said Brook Turson.” I thought I could get it through.”
“I saw him (Miller) going on that fast break,” said McKenzie, “and I knew he couldn’t have a wide open layup. So I was either going to foul him or get the steal, and ended up getting the steal.”
“I was thinking, let’s tie this up and go into overtime,” said Fricke.
Shooting one-and-one, McKenzie made one, pushing the lead to 40-37. After Archbold rebounded, Christian Goering got off a shot but missed. Fricke got the rebound and passed to Goering again, but the senior again missed.
Turson grabbed the rebound and wrote his way to a regional final by hitting two free throws with 10 seconds left for the 42-37 final.
“There was such tremendous defense tonight,” said the Plymouth coach. “We searched and searched for something that would work on offense.
“It was tremendous defense for us and it was the same for Archbold. You couldn’t get into the flow of the game because of that defense.”
– Corey Walker 2, Fricke 13, Morton 8, Miller 1, Kammeyer 7, Giesige 4, Collin Walker 2. Totals 15-5-37.
– McCalley 13, Turson 23, McKenzie 1, Mowry 5. Totals 14-13-42.
15 3 11 8 – 37 PHS
10 10 9 13 – 42