Second half surge gives Ansonia boys basketball win over Mississinawa Valley


By Drew Terhall

UNION CITY — To open the varsity double headers in the Rt. 47 Shootout at Mississinawa Valley, the Ansonia boys basketball team took home a 64-43 win over the Blackhawks.

Ansonia head coach Tony Overton said after the team went into the second half with some new found energy, they were able to get things rolling.

“We have been able to put four quarters yet together. We’re still working on that. I gave them a pretty good talking at halftime to raise our energy and that seemed to help. Got some spark off the bench, that helped and that brought the morale up for some of the older guys. I was proud of our effort for the last 12 minutes or so,” Overton said.

Ansonia held a small lead, 23-18, at halftime. Both teams struggled to make the most of their first shot attempts.

Throughout the first half, both teams were able to collect offensive rebounds and score on those second chance opportunities.

Mississinawa Valley head coach Cole Hamilton said the key in the first half was to contain Ansonia senior Ethan Reichert. He also said senior Bryson Gower did a great job guarding him and helped get Reichert in foul trouble.

From there, the Blackhawks were able to get enough offense going to stay in the game early.

“Ten days ago, Reichert scored 34 points on us. Kind of shut him down a little bit, focused on their inside game. Got Reichert into foul trouble, that led us to some easy points in the first half,” Hamilton said. “Went back to it in the second half, buckets weren’t falling. Fell a little short tonight.”

The Blackhawks rode that momentum for the start of the second half. They were able to make the game a one possession game.

Hamilton said it was noticeable the team was starting to wear out. The shots that were falling from the outside started to fall a little short.

“The inside-out looks were there. A couple of our guards hit a couple of those shots. But again, some of them just fell short,” Hamilton said.

Ansonia had a different energy in the second half. The team made seven three pointers in the second half with five made in the fourth quarter.

The inside-out game was working for the Tigers. They were able to work the paint enough to get their shooters open to take over the game.

Overton said good things will come to the offense if they can stay patient, set screens and work the inside-out game. With the right guys in place, they can generate offense.

“When we have a guy like Bennett Lehman that comes in and does it everyday in practice and we see a matchup, that was the key right there bringing him in and hitting those open shots. It fed for a guy like Landyn Bowman to hit a couple there too,” Overton said.

Lehman had three made threes in the final quarter.

The uptick in energy also helped the Tigers eliminate some of those second chance opportunities for the Blackhawks. Ansonia started to crash the defensive boards and finished defensive possessions for stops.

Overton said after the team kind of stood around the first half, they started to really get after the loose ball in the second half.

“The second half, our energy got a lot better. We ended up having some guys crash the boards. We got some stops. When we got stops, that’s when we were able to be able to pull away there at the end,” Overton said.

Senior Matt Barga led the team with 17 points. Reichert and senior Trevor Hemmerich both had 15 points. Lehman finished with 12 points.

For Mississinawa Valley, freshman Cing Scott led the team with 14 points with Gower close behind with 13 points. Senior Aron Hunt had nine points.

Overton said the team has shown flashes so far this season, a sign there’s still more work to do. Ansonia is 4-9 on the season with a 2-5 WOAC record. They will play at Minster on Jan. 23 at 7:15 p.m. They will then host back to back games starting with Preble Shawnee on Jan. 26 at 7:30 p.m. and then hosts Covington on Jan. 27 at 7:15 p.m.

Mississinawa Valley is now 1-13 on the season with a 0-6 WOAC record. They will play at Bradford on Jan. 26 at 7:30 p.m. and then host Fort Recovery on Jan. 27 at 7:30 p.m.

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

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