UNION CITY – The Ansonia Tigers invaded Mississinawa Valley Friday evening looking to spoil the Blackhawks’ search for their first Cross County Conference win of the season and the celebration of 2016 state bowling champion Joe Teeter.
The Tigers, led by a one-two punch of Devyn Sink and Aydan Sanders, were successful in their quest, winning by a 51-36 score.
Ansonia breached the MV defense for three triples in the first quarter. The long-range attack along with inside drives by sophomore Hunter Muir made up the Tiger offense. The Blackhawks, while not shooting a high percentage, managed to get several offensive rebounds, which allowed them to score second-chance points that kept the game close after eight minutes, 13-10 Ansonia.
Mississinawa Valley had looked to be closing the gap as the first ended, but triples by Sink and Sanders to open the second widened the gap to 19-10 early in the period.
The Blackhawks went to work against the Ansonia two-three zone. They began to penetrate into the heart of the zone, and a bucket by Ethan Bowman brought the Blackhawks to within five at 21-16.
MV, though getting shots at close range, could not convert many of the opportunities. When the buzzer sounded, Ansonia led 25-20.
In the third quarter it looked at times as if Ansonia would pull away, but an outstanding effort by Trent Perkins of Mississinawa, who scored all seven Blackhawk points in the period, would not let that happen. The men of Coach Tim Barga continued to wage war on the inside, but the shots simply would not fall. The defenses owned the quarter as combined both teams managed just 16 points. Ansonia took a 34-27 margin into the final stanza.
Mississinawa Valley got off to a great start in the fourth with DJ Howell completing an old-fashioned three-point play to bring the Blackhawks within four at 34-30.
Sink, who would score 10 off his game-high 20 points in the fourth, hit a triple to re-extend the lead.
Mississinawa was now pressing full-court. As the Blackhawks challenged the Tigers, Ansonia had spread the floor and was now looking to drive to the goal if the opportunity presented itself.
Sink converted seven of eight from the free throw line during the period to shut down any chance of a Blackhawk comeback.
“We just kept defending tonight,” Ansonia boys basketball coach Chad Cramer said. “We did a really good job on Bowman. He is a terrific player. Held him to 10. Every time he had it there was help both ways, and when he didn’t have it we were up the line looking to deny. Made some other people make some plays. Kids defensively did a whale of a job.”
Commenting on his backcourt of Sanders and Sink, Cramer said, “Both are still real young with tremendous upside.”
According to Cramer it had been a long time since Ansonia had beaten Mississinawa on the hardwood, possibly as many as 13 games.
MV was led in scoring by Perkins 11, Bowman with 10 and Howell with 9.
The Blackhawks fell to 0-4 on the season and 0-3 in the Cross County Conference. Ansonia moved its record to 4-1, 3-1 in the CCC.