From staff reports
CASTALIA — In what appeared would be an easy win for Margaretta, Oak Harbor rallied to defeat the Polar Bears, 38-37, on a late 3-pointer from Blake Booker to stop a three-game losing streak in boys basketball.
Booker’s shot from the left wing with 46 seconds to play gave the Rockets (4-5, 3-1 SBC Bay) the lead for good and accounted for the final points, and Margaretta (8-3, 3-1) failed to score, turning the ball over once before Jake Leibacher’s desperation 3 at the buzzer fell short.
“By the time Blake leaves Oak Harbor, he has two records — most 3s in a game and in a season — and I think he’ll get pretty close to 3s in a career. And, he will have only played for two-and-a-half seasons,” said Oak Harbor coach Eric Sweet. “He’s shooting 40% from 3-point range. The other teams know he’s going to shoot it, and he still gets it off. We have other shooters around him, like T.J. Hallett and Brenan Ish.”
Both teams are currently tied with Willard for first place in the conference.
The Bears led 4-2 after the first quarter and 18-9 at halftime, but Oak Harbor outscored Margaretta, 29-19, in the second half.
“I think the story of the game was the players’ toughness. They just stayed with the game plan and kept fighting; they stayed with what we wanted to do defensively,” said Sweet. “We kept getting stops and we started to get going offensively. There were many shots prior to Blake’s that we needed to hit. Brenan Ish hit a 3-pointer and T.J. hit a big shot. When we needed to, we were able to strike.
“When we lost at Huron, before Christmas, we wanted to get back to playing good defense and solid basketball, we talked about that. We knew we could get back into first place if we beat Margaretta. We wanted to put forth our best effort; we had an opportunity in front of us. We were able to hang around long enough and get a shot to win the game.”
Booker led Oak Harbor with 13 points, with 11 coming in the second half, and T.J. Hallett scored eight points, including a key 3-pointer with 3:34 remaining to cut the deficit to 34-33.
Leibacher had a game-high 14 points for Margaretta and Ben Palomo finished with 10.
St. Mary Central Catholic 61, Oak Harbor 47
Behind 24 points from Gus Roth, St. Mary Central Catholic controlled the pace of the game throughout and defeated Oak Harbor, 61-47.
The Panthers (6-3) jumped out to an early lead and outscored the Rockets 17-9 in the first quarter. The two teams both scored 26 points in the middle two quarters, and SMCC put the game away by winning the fourth, 18-12. In addition to Roth, Anderson Gerrari chipped in with 12 points and DeAron Newell scored 10.
T.J. Hallett scored 21 points, including five 3-pointers, and Blake Booker had 17 points and also made five 3-pointers.
Port Clinton wins third straight game
After starting the season 1-5, Port Clinton has appeared to right the ship and is on a three-game winning streak following its 57-42 win over Edison.
The Redskins (4-5, 1-3 SBC Bay) put the game away by outscoring the Chargers (0-6, 0-4) 23-13 in the third quarter, which increased their lead from 19-13 to 42-16. A good, stout defense has becoming the calling card for this team, and it was on full display.
“Defense is something we really want to focus on. We put together a good game plan,” said Port Clinton coach Ryan Hicks. “They’re doing what we tell them to do, they’re guarding, and we have numerous guys that are above average defenders. We can guard multiple positions, which makes it hard for the other team. Our defense has been pretty good. You can’t be upset if your defense is giving up 40-45 points.”
Port Clinton has had some bad luck this season, losing one game by six points and three others by five points apiece.
“I think we’ve been in some tight ball games that could’ve gone either way. We lost four games by five points apiece,” said Hicks. “We played well against Lake, and I think we were able to ride that confidence and momentum all the way through the week.
“Our guys played their best game against St. Mary CC. We were really locked in, we tried to get a big win, and we were able to do that. I think we’ve been playing good team ball.”
Port Clinton had four players score at least nine points — Adam Thorbahn (14), Brayden Spencer (11), Tyler Webb (9) and Tommy Owens (9).
Dylan O’Dell had a game-high 16 points to lead Edison.
Port Clinton 47, St. Mary Central Catholic 28
Holding a four-point lead at halftime, Port Clinton held St. Mary Central Catholic to just eight points in the second half of its 47-28 win. The Redskins led 24-20 at the half and outscored the Panthers (6-3) 23-8 in the final two quarters.
Adam Thorbahn had 22 points, including four 3-pointers, to lead all scorers, and Tommy Owens finished with 13 points.
Cole Kromer led SMCC with 10 points, DeAron Newell finished with eight points and Gus Roth, one of the area’s top players, was limited to three points by Elliot Auxter.
“We had a really good, collective effort on defense. I coached Gus in AAU a few years back, and I knew his shooting capabilities. Elliot Auxter did an outstanding job on Roth. Roth had, I think, 28 points in his last game, and scored three points against us. Auxter was locked in,” said Port Clinton coach Ryan Hicks. “The rest of the team did a good job with Newell. Josh Hurst guarded him. We tried to make them score over top of us.”
Port Clinton 63, Lake 28
The 63 points that Port Clinton scored was much more than it needed as the Redskins defeated Lake, 63-28. Port Clinton led 16-11 after the first quarter and 32-17 at halftime. In the second half, the ‘Skins held the Flyers (3-6) to just 11 points and steadily pulled away.
Adam Thorbahn led all scorers with 15 points, Tommy Owens scored 14 points and Brayden Spencer finished with 11.
Jalen Smith led Lake with 12 points.
Danbury falls to Elmwood
Elmwood took an early lead and never looked back in its 75-50 victory over Danbury. The Royals (3-5) led 20-7 after the first quarter and 35-24 at halftime.
Brady Ziegler and Bryce Reynolds combined to score 45 points to lead Elmwood. Ziegler scored a game-high 23 points, including 11 in the first half, and Reynolds finished with 22 points.
Kaden Conrad had a team-high 17 points and Blake Barker scored 15 to pace the Lakers (1-7).