ANSONIA – It took Ansonia a full half to adjust to St. Henry’s speed and athleticism and that cost the Tigers as they lost 46-29 Saturday night.
Ansonia played well after halftime and outscored St. Henry in the second half, but a 20-point halftime deficit was too much to overcome.
“We struggled to match their intensity at the beginning, pretty evident when they jumped up big,” Ansonia boys basketball coach Chad Cramer said. “We don’t see that type of speed and athleticism every night, and even in Fort Recovery they jumped us by 22 early. And then once we get kind of comfortable with the pace that it’s played at I thought we played pretty well the rest of the time.”
St. Henry, which never trailed Saturday night, scored 17 of the final 18 points in the first quarter to lead 22-5 through the first eight minutes. The visitors increased their lead to 31-11 in the second quarter.
After St. Henry increased its lead to a game-high 22 points midway through the third quarter Ansonia finished the period on a 7-0 run to reduce its deficit to 36-20.
“That’s a positive that we didn’t quit, but it’s also our own fault we were down 22 at the same time,” Cramer said. “I thought our kids fought. I thought the guys coming off the bench, especially Andrew Rowland and Matthew Farrier, gave us a big spark in just a toughness level and a competing level that we can definitely build off.”
A 15-point deficit in the fourth quarter was as close as Ansonia got in the second half as St. Henry’s lead never was threatened and the visitors claimed a 46-29 victory.
“I thought we had some shots,” Cramer said. “We had some opportunities to make a little push there. We just didn’t hit them tonight, you know. Come back, maybe hit them next week.”
Trevor Alexander led Ansonia with 12 points Saturday night, Devyn Sink scored 9, Hunter Muir scored 6, and Rowland scored 2.
Tyler Schlarman led St. Henry with 17 points, Blake Hoyng scored 8, Curtis Uhlenhake scored 6, Ryan Luttmer scored 4, Mitch Schwieterman scored 4, Parker Link scored 3, Ryan Bruening scored 2, and Nathan Lefeld scored 2.
St. Henry improved to 9-5 with Saturday’s victory while Ansonia fell to 7-8.
“We want to get to where we’re playing in district finals against Fort Loramie or Russia,” Cramer said. “This is type of speed that we’re going to see there. We need to make some improvements so we can get to that point.”
Ansonia will return to action on Friday at Miami East.
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.