Reichert leads Ansonia past Mississinawa Valley in rivalry game


By Drew Terhall

ANSONIA — In the first round of this rivalry game, Ansonia boys basketball defended their home floor and won 62-40 over Mississinawa Valley on Jan. 2.

Ansonia senior Ethan Reichert led the team with 34 points in the victory. He sat out for most of the fourth quarter.

Head coach Tony Overton said Reichert is a handful for teams to deal with. Overton also said they have challenged Reichert this season to get the most out of him and he has so far responded well.

“We’ve kind of tested him a little bit this year and he’s responded. I tested him yesterday, we had practice on New Year’s Day. I pushed him a little bit and he gave us 34,” Overton said.

The Tigers had a 27-21 lead at halftime. Reichert had 12 points at halftime and was carrying most of the offensive load for Ansonia.

The Blackhawks were hanging in there in large part with their three-point shooting. They made five threes in the first half.

Mississinawa Valley did have some small victories getting stops in the paint against Reichert, even though Reichert won the war.

Overton said this season, they have blown leads or would go scoreless in quarters because the decision making on offense hasn’t been consistent.

Like in the first half, the team was rolling getting the ball inside to Reichert. Then, it just stopped and the offense stalled for awhile. Overton said he talked to the team at halftime to get the ball inside.

The numbers for Ansonia don’t look pretty because of these lapses. Overton said the numbers don’t define this team.

“We’ve been struggling. It’s been a tough season. We’ve been able to hang with some teams for a couple of quarters and then again, I said it last year, we go through lapses. I told the boys the stats and the record saids we’re a bad team. I refuse to believe that,” Overton said. “I think we’re a good team that makes really bad decisions.”

Ansonia opened up the first five minutes of the third quarter on a 15-2 run. Reichert scored 12 points in the third quarter. They were also able to get some open shots off of Reichert kicking it out to the open man.

Overton said the team will be in a good spot if they can learn from their past mistakes and move forward. Even while the coaching staff is still playing around with different rotations and finding the best fit for everyone, Ansonia can compete with a lot of teams.

After their early success against Reichert, Mississinawa Valley couldn’t contain him for the second half. They were outscored in the third quarter, 21-8.

The Blackhawks had some trouble offensively against the ball pressure from Ansonia. At times, they turned over the ball or couldn’t get a quality shot off.

But, they still hung in and gave it their full effort. The offense still worked the ball around and they got some open shots to fall. The Blackhawks had eight made threes in the game.

The Blackhawks have shown signs of improvement on offense. After failing to score 35+ points in their first four games, they have scored 40+ in their last five games.

Overton said Mississinawa Valley head coach Cole Hamilton is doing a great job with the team and has a lot of respect for what he is doing.

Ansonia just had more experience and were juiced up for the rivalry game. Overton said he is proud of the boys for executing the second half and wants them to bring that same energy to every game.

“There’s something about this rivalry that gives the kids a little bit more energy, which I really like that. But we still need to bring that same energy against a different opponent,” Overton said.

Sophomore Layne Bowman was the second leading scorer for Ansonia with nine points. For Mississinawa Valley, sophomore Kyle Wehrkamp led the team with 11 points and made three three-point shots. Senior Aron Hunt had nine points.

Ansonia is now 3-6 with a 2-3 WOAC record. They will go to Tri-Village on Jan. 5 for their next game. Overton said they will need to be on their A game to compete against the gold standard in the WOAC.

Mississinawa Valley is now 1-8 on the season with a 0-5 WOAC record. They will go to Arcanum on Jan. 5.

Both games are set for a 7:30 p.m. tip off.

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

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