PIQUA – Mississinawa Valley continued to play good basketball in the opening round of the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division IV sectional tournament at Garbry Gymnasium with a 54-36 win over Houston.
There was much debate on the last time a Mississinawa team won a tournament game, and after a little research it was concluded the Blackhawks had won twice in the last 16 years, the last being in 2011 over Mechanicsburg.
Judging by the crowd on hand to watch the opening round game coach Tim Barga and the team has the community excited and involved supporting the team this year.
The Blackhawks shot the ball well in the opening quarter, running their offense to near perfection to open up a 15-8 first quarter lead.
Colyn Nelson led the way in the opening quarter with six points, and Trent Perkins added five.
“Trent (Perkins) hit a couple shots, and he doesn’t normally score that much. Anytime we can get points from Trent or Andrew Johns, that is big,” Mississinawa boys basketball coach Tim Barga said.
Senior Devan Rinderle took over the second quarter, scoring nine points as the Hawks put the ball in the hole by hitting 7-of-11 shots to go up 29-11 … but a triple at the buzzer for Houston cut the lead down to 29-15 at the half.
“Defensively I thought we were pretty good in the first half. Even the 3-point shot at the buzzer was defended well. It was just a lucky shot,” Barga said.
After dominating the first half Mississinawa struggled a little in the third quarter, and Houston took advantage to win the quarter 12-7.
“We turned the ball over too many times in the third quarter and defensively didn’t play as well. We were sort of lucky they missed a lot of shots so I was glad to still have the type of lead we did going into the final quarter. It could have been worse,” Barga said.
MV held a 36-27 advantage going into the final stanza.
Houston tried to speed up Mississinawa and get them out of sync … but a more mature and seasoned Hawk team kept its composure.
“We kept talking to the guys, saying we’re ahead. It’s OK to get frustrated when your behind … not when your ahead. So if we got the fast break, take it. If not, hold the ball up, take your time and run something,” Barga said.
MV showed balance in attacking when it needed too in the fourth quarter and got six points from Dalton Geesy and four points each from Nelson, Rinderle and Andrew Johns in the 54-36 win.
The two teams just played each other a few weeks ago in the regular season a game MV won by 10 points.
“They knew everything we were going to do. They really hounded Ethan Bowman and frustrated him tonight … but we have a lot of guys on this team that can hurt you and make plays,” Barga said..
Long time Houston coach John Willoughby agreed.
“They have six solid guys, who play really well together. That is good to see on their part,” Willoughby said.
The win was big for Mississinawa basketball and there were a lot of smiles afterward.
“It feels good, the boys feel good about getting the win. We didn’t play our best basketball tonight … but if sure feels good to get the win, and hopefully we got the bad game out of our system,” Barga concluded.
The Hawks were led by Rinderle with 19 points and 12 rebounds while Nelson added 12 points in support.
Mississinawa advances to the second round to take on a very tough Fort Loramie team at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Piqua.
Score by quarters:
MV … 15 … 14 … 07 … 18 – 54
HO … 08 … 07 … 12 … 09 – 36
Bowman 8, Perkins 5, Nelson 12, Rinderle 19, Geesy 6, Johns 14
Phipps 10, Arnold 5, Jolly 2, Freytag 14, Sluss 3, Shoemaker 2
MV – 3 (Bowman 1, Perkins 1, Rinderle 1)
HO – 2 (Arnold 1, Sluss 1)