PIQUA – Ansonia was pleased with how it slowed down Jackson Center’s offense, but the Tigers couldn’t get much offense going themselves in a 48-23 sectional tournament loss on Saturday night.
“I thought our effort was great all night,” Ansonia boys basketball coach Chad Cramer said. “I thought we competed hard. We just ran into a really, really good team.”
Jackson Center, who entered the Division IV sectional tournament opener against Ansonia ranked 10th in the state by the Associated Press, came out on fire. The Shelby County squad simply didn’t miss shots in the first six minutes of the game, opening up a 14-0 lead.
Hunter Muir finally got Ansonia on the scoreboard late in the period, but Jackson Center led 17-2 at the end of the quarter as Bryce Sosby drained a buzzer-beating 3-pointer.
After making four 3-pointers in the first quarter, two by Drew Sosby and two by Bryce Sosby, Jackson Center’s offense started to slow down the second period. Ansonia held the state-ranked squad to 11 points in the quarter but only managed four itself – two from Muir and two from Wentworth – to trail 28-6 at halftime.
Ansonia slowed down Jackson Center even more in the third quarter and held the Tigers to just seven points. However, Ansonia only scored six with four from Devyn Sink plus one each from Aydan Sanders and Wentworth.
“We thought if we held them to the score that we did we’d give ourselves a shot,” Cramer said. “Just their defense was so good we had trouble scoring.”
Ansonia had its most productive period offensively in the fourth quarter, scoring 11 points. Sink drained a 3-pointer, and then Wentworth scored the Tigers’ final eight points as the game ended with Jackson Center on top 48-23.
“I thought defensively we did what we were supposed to do,” Cramer said. “We limited 5 (Drew Sosby), 12 (Ethan Zorn) and 34 (Brady Wildermuth). I think they ended up with 28 points combined, and they average about 40 a night between the three of them … no, that’s closer to 50 a night. So we held them well below their average. Give No. 13 some credit, (Bryce) Sosby, he stepped up and made some shots. We left him open for a reason, and he stuck them.”
Drew Sosby led Jackson Center with 12 points in the game. Also for the Shelby County squad, Wildermuth scored 10 points, Bryce Sosby scored eight, Zorn scored six, Trent Platfoot scored five, Gavin Booser scored four, and Chayce Hickman scored three.
Wentworth led Ansonia with 11 points while Sink scored seven, Muir scored four, and Sanders scored one.
Ansonia finished its season with a 3-19 record with the sectional tournament loss while Jackson Center improved to 19-4.
“We made some steps in the right direction,” Cramer said about his team’s performance this season. “We talked tonight … I loved our attitude all year, I think it was a fun group to work with, and those were positives. And then we’ve got a lot coming back. We’ve got a lot of work to do.”
The loss ended Ansonia’s season and the high school basketball career of the Tigers’ lone senior, Wentworth.
“He was great,” Cramer said. “He was a great leader, really sparked us offensively. Being the only senior, the only captain, that can be tough on a kid, and he stepped up to the challenge, and he was terrific. He’s going to be sorely missed next year.”