For much of the first quarter, Port Clinton outplayed Oak Harbor and held a 13-8 lead with about a minute remaining but things changed.
A.J. Cecil connected on a layup and Sam Laderach hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to tie it at 13, swinging the momentum in the Rockets’ favor as they went on a 12-0 run and took control of the contest before defeating the Redskins, 58-47.
Greg Haar’s three-pointer with 6:16 left in the second quarter gave Oak Harbor the lead for good at 16-13 and the Rockets never looked back.
Haar, who led all scorers with 22 points, had 15 in the first half as the Rockets increased the margin in the second quarter and took a 28-23 lead into the break.
With the win, Oak Harbor improves to 8-5 overall and 5-2 in the Sandusky Bay Conference. Port Clinton, meanwhile, falls to 2-10 and 2-6 in the league.
Oak Harbor head coach Eric Sweet talked about his team’s victory.
“The difference between this year and past years is I’ve got kids that are confident on the court,” he said. “I’ve got kids that want the basketball in their hands. And it’s not just A.J. and Greg, it’s guys like Austin (Wiegand) and Josh (Sarahman). Nobody is scared to have the basketball in their hands. There’s no fear this year. If it’s close, we know we’re going to be okay.”
In addition to Haar’s 22 points, Cecil chipped in with 15, connecting on three 3-pointers and Wiegand and Sarahman finished with eight and seven points, respectively.
Coming into the season, the Rockets, who hadn’t beat their cross-town rivals since 2003, have now taken both games this season.
“It’s a huge win for our program,” Cecil said. “To get two from these guys (this season) — we hadn’t beaten them in 10 years — we’ve been talking since we were young that we were going to be the class that comes in and changes (the program). To get two from one of the better programs in the league is huge.”
Cecil also talked about the momentum that Laderach’s buzzer-beating three-pointer gave the club.
“Sam’s three was huge,” he said. “To send us into the (break) with the big got us going and fired us up. We extended the lead (in the second quarter) and never looked back.”
Brock Moore led the ‘Skins with 20 points and Kalib Shiets and Nathan Stubblefield finished with eight and seven, respectively.
After trailing 42-30 heading in the final period, Port Clinton was able to chip away and mount a rally, getting as close as five when Moore connected on a runner with 3:02 remaining to cut it to 47-42. However, Haar, who connected on a number key shots during the game, took the ball coast-to-coast and scored on a leaner in the paint to push the lead back to seven. From there, the Rockets put the game away at the free-throw line.
“We told the guys (in the fourth quarter) that we wanted to get it down to a two-possession game,” Port Clinton head coach Troy Diels said. “Brock hit a shot to cut it to five and then Greg (Haar) came down and hit a floater and it sort of broke our spirits. That was a senior stepping up with a big play.”
PORT CLINTON (58) — Dylan Webb 0-2-2; Brock Moore 7-5-20; Kalib Shiets 2-3-8; Kyle Wilkins 0-1-1; Jason Mueller 1-1-3; Nathan Stubblefield 3-0-7; Ian Kyle 1-0-2; Cameron Rodriguez 2-0-4. Totals 16-12-47.
OAK HARBOR (47) — Austin Wiegand 2-4-8; Andy Rathbun 0-3-3; A.J. Cecil 6-0-15; Sam Laderach 1-0-3; Josh Sarahman 2-3-7; Greg Haar 6-3-22. Totals 17-17-58.
Halftime — Oak Harbor, 28-23
3-pt FG — (PC) Moore; Shiets; Stubblefield; (OH) Cecil 3; Haar 3; Laderach
JV Game — Port Clinton, 45-44