Ansonia moves past Bradford in WOAC playoff showdown


By Drew Terhall

PIQUA — In round two of Ansonia vs. Bradford High School boys basketball, the Tigers won this matchup 77-62 at Piqua High School on Feb. 18 in the first round of the Southwest Division IV sectional.

In his first year at the helm of the boys basketball program, head coach Tony Overton said this win is a step towards changing the mentality of the program and Ansonia athletics. He wants to help build a consistent winner at Ansonia.

“All of us coaches communicate. We want to build this. You’re not always going to have the most skilled players. But if you come to work everyday and do your job, we’re going to have something and that’s what we’re trying to get,” Overton said.

The Tigers were able to click right away offensively to start the game, something they haven’t been able to do consistenly all season long. They found success early moving the ball and getting the right shot.

Bradford head coach Jay Hall said Overton deserves credit for getting his team prepared as the Tigers were on fire to start the game. His team couldn’t match the intensity Ansonia played with early.

“We didn’t meet anywhere close to the energy that they brought out. It hurt. We got rattled and we saw that carry over to the rest of the game,” Hall said.

It was a track meet in the first half. Both teams wanted to push the pace and play fast. Bradford hung around with Ansonia as both teams traded baskets.

Overton said they knew Bradford was going to be a challenge and they would want to play a similar style of basketball as them.

“When we watched the film with Bradford, we are who we are. We told the boys, ‘Who’s going to do it better?” Tonight, we were better,” Overton said.

At halftime, Ansonia was up 41-31. The difference in the first half was the six made three-point shots from the Tigers. The Railroaders couldn’t respond to all of the three-point shots, they only had two makes from deep in the first half.

Junior Ethan Reichert provided the shooting spark for the Tigers. He had three made three pointers in the first half. Overton said this game really showed how far Reichert has come since the start of the year. Reichert didn’t provide a lot offensively earlier in the season, but is now becoming a contributor on the offensive end.

At the start of the third quarter, the Tigers went on an 11-0 run to break open their lead. The Railroaders couldn’t climb out of that hole for the rest of the game.

Bradford didn’t give up. They kept fighting and had 22 points in the fourth quarter. The Railroaders started to get some turnovers and scored in transition. But with the deficit being in the double-digits, Bradford had to foul early in the fourth quarter to keep their chances of pulling off the comeback high.

Ansonia went 21 for 29 from the free throw line and was able to stop any potential Railroader comeback.

For Bradford, sophomore Owen Canan led the team with 16 points and had four three-point makes. Juniors Hudson Hill and Landon Wills had 14 and 12 points respectively. In his last game for Bradford, senior Landon Monnin had 11 points.

Bradford ends the 2022-23 season with a 14-9 record with an 8-3 conference record. For the second straight year, the Railroaders lose in the first round of the tournament to a conference opponent.

“Two years in a row, leaving here very disappointed and embarassed. But, you got to give credit to Ansonia. They came out, they played and they executed,” Hall said.

For Ansonia, Reichert led the team with 18 points. Seniors Ian Schmitmeyer and Exzaviar Moody both had 15 points. Juniors Trevor Hemmerich and Garrett Stammen had 13 and 12 points respectively.

All season long Overton has said if the team can be confident and trust each other, then every can be a threat offensively and lead this team to wins.

“If you look at our wins, we have three to four guys in doubles. When we have one or two guys in doubles, we’re still competing but it’s hard to win with that. It’s a confidence issue with us, it’s always has been,” Overton said.

The sixth seeded Tigers will take on the third seed in Fort Loramie on Feb. 23 at Piqua for their next playoff game. Game is set for a 7:30 p.m. tipoff.

Contact Daily Advocate sports editor Drew Terhall at [email protected]

No posts to display