By Drew Terhall
UNION CITY — It was a close first half between the two rivals. But, the Ansonia High School boys basketball pulled away in the second half to defeat Mississinawa Valley High School, 62-42, on the road. The win snaps a five-game losing streak for the Tigers.
Ansonia head coach Tony Overton said he was happy with how his team was able to battle through some foul trouble and stepped up when they needed to for the win.
“We were due. We faced some adversity tonight with some foul trouble. Some guys were asked to do some things they have not done this year and I’m proud of them,” Overton said.
The Tigers had a 23-19 lead at halftime. After starting the second quarter down three, the Tigers got more comfortable in their defense and forced turnovers.
From there, they were able to get the offense going. Ansonia was able to find their offense without their leading scorer. Junior Garrett Stammen sat out most of the second quarter with foul trouble.
Senior Exzaviar Moody came in and scored nine points in the second quarter. He had 10 points at halftime.
The Blackhaws were outscored 13-6 in the second quarter. They started to become more erratic on offense and turned the ball over. After the first quarter, Mississinawa Valley couldn’t consistently make some open shots.
Head coach Nick Hamilton said while his team wanted to win this game and continue their three-game win streak, it seemed like Ansonia wanted it more.
“We got to hit shots. We had good looks again and we got to make them,” Hamilton said. “We got to get tougher on defense. I’m proud of our guys, they’re playing hard.”
The Tigers extended their lead, 38-27, after the third quarter. Stammen came back in and contributed on offense with 10 points in the quarter.
Ansonia then smelt the blood in the water as they scored six quick points at the start of the fourth quarter to force a Mississinawa Valley timeout.
The Tigers also were able to take advantage of the foul trouble Mississinawa Valley was in. Overton said they tried to get switches on offense to draw fouls on those with three or four fouls late.
It worked as Blackhawks senior Matt Pisano fouled out of the game.
From there, nine players scored for the Tigers. Overton said he wants to change the culture at Ansonia and this game was a step towards accomplishing that goal. Having everyone involved is the recipe for success, as long as the team continues to trust each other.
“When we win, that’s what happens. That is what we preach everyday in practice. Our biggest issue is we don’t trust each other and sometimes we don’t trust ourselves,” Overton said.
Stammen led all scorers with 20 points, all scored in the second half. Senior Ian Schmitmeyer and Moody both ended the game with 10 points.
For Mississinawa Valley, senior Drew Anguiano led the team with 10 points. He scored all 10 points in the second half. Senior Troy Woodbury and junior Dylan Wehrkamp both had eight points.
The Blackhawks were on a three-game winning streak. They were playing better on offense and played more discipline. In the first quarter, they were playing with a great energy and scored 13 points in the opening quarter.
But, the frustrations got to them and the foul trouble became too much to handle for the Blackhawks. It’s a bump in the road for Mississinawa Valley. The team is still playing with their full effort and only have a few things to improve on before their next game and their next shot at Ansonia.
“We’re turning the corner. The boys are playing hard, they’re giving us a lot of effort. We just have to clean some things up,” Hamilton said.
Mississinawa Valley is now 4-7 on the season with a 2-4 conference record. The Blackhawks will wait until Jan. 13 for their next game as they host Bradford. Then they will host Waynesfield Goshen on Jan. 14 for a non-conference matchup.
For the Tigers, they will travel to Preble Shawnee on Jan. 13 and then travel to Madison on Jan. 14. Ansonia will be 5-7 with a 2-4 conference record when they head to Preble Shawnee.
Contact Daily Advocate sports editor Drew Terhall at [email protected]