Team depth and a strong bench help Fostoria defeat Oak Harbor

Jan 9, 2024 | Sports | 0 comments

Oak Harbor’s Daniel Allen III and Carson Steinbrick, along with Fostoria’s Lance Miller and Dylan Holmes, go for a rebound late in the 3rd quarter. (Photo by Zach Stumpf, Scanner Media)

By ZACH STUMPF, SCANNER MEDIA

After Fostoria defeated Oak Harbor 59-46 on Jan. 7, Oak Harbor Head Coach Eric Sweet reflected on the team’s performance, particularly their loss of a nine-point lead in the second half. He attributed this to missing shots early in the third quarter, which allowed the opposing team to gain momentum, draw fouls and score. Sweet noted that scoring only 15 points in the second half and turning over the ball 10 times under pressure were significant factors in their defeat. Although the team’s free throw performance was not optimal (8 for 16 in the third quarter), he didn’t find much fault with their defense. He acknowledged the strong performance of the opposing players, specifically Ferguson and Machi, who were crucial in hitting three-pointers. Sweet concluded by recognizing the strength of the opposing team and their status as favorites to win the league

Fostoria Head Coach Thom Loomis reflected on the team’s impressive comeback and overall performance. He acknowledged the need for halftime adjustments, as the team was down by nine and struggling with turnovers and rebounding. In the second half, the team improved significantly in these areas, displaying a strong defense and winning the boards, which were initially their primary goals. This shift in momentum, especially in a five-minute stretch where they outscored Oak Harbor by nine points, was pivotal.

Coach Loomis highlighted the contributions of Jordan Ferguson and Machi Johnson, noting Ferguson’s double-double performance. He also praised the bench players like Ryan O’Neal, Trent Smith, Lance Miller, and Dylan Holmes for their significant roles in defense, scoring and maintaining the team’s momentum, especially against Oak Harbor’s top scorer, Ethan Stokes. The coach emphasized that the victory was a total team effort, with the bench playing a critical role.

In the fourth quarter, Fostoria’s ability to sustain pressure and extend their lead was noted, attributing it to the team’s depth and the bench players’ contributions. The coach remarked on the team’s trust in each other and their growing confidence, which has been a recurring theme in their season, especially in crucial moments of the game. This team spirit and belief have been key factors in their successful season and their ability to make strong comebacks, as demonstrated in these game and previous ones.

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