UNION CITY – A game that was tied at the end of the third quarter turned into a rout in the fourth as Fort Recovery outscored Mississinawa Valley 18-2 over the final eight minutes to defeat the Blackhawks 51-35.
For Mississinawa Valley boys basketball coach Tim Barga, whose team has a 1-5-1 record since Jan. 20, Saturday’s performance was all too familiar.
“The last seven games, every one of them has been exactly the same. We get ahead and they throw the ball away,” Barga said. “I’ll watch this film tomorrow morning; it’s the same way. We get ahead, and we throw the ball away. We don’t run the offense. We run the offense to get ahead then we don’t run the offense and get behind. Like that all year. Not a whole lot else to say. That’s just the way it is.”
Fort Recovery got off to a strong start on Saturday with Clay Schmitz scoring the game’s first 6 points.
Mississinawa battled back with 5 points from Blake Scholl and 4 from DJ Howell to take its first lead of the night, 9-8, with just over a minute remaining in the opening quarter. Ethan Bowman added a basket with 20 seconds left in the frame to put the Blackhawks up 11-8.
Matt Slob made a pair of baskets in the opening moments of the second quarter then Bowman made two baskets, including a 3-pointer, to push the MV lead to a game-high 8 points, 20-12, midway through the second quarter.
Fort Recovery went on a 10-0 run to retake the lead, 22-20, before Bowman scored again the knot the game at 22-22 entering halftime.
Bowman, Howell, Scholl, Trent Collins and Max Dirmeyer each scored for Mississinawa Valley in the third quarter, helping the Blackhawks build a 33-29 advantage.
However, once again Fort Recovery made another run. The visitors outscored MV 4-0 over the final minute of the third period to even the score at 33-33 entering the fourth.
In the final frame it was all Fort Recovery. The Midwest Athletic Conference squad scored the first 14 points of the period to go up 47-33.
Mississinawa Valley got a basket from Matt Slob with 2:41 remaining but couldn’t get any more offense going in the 16-point loss.
“I’m not blaming the referees or … I’ll blame their defense for playing good defense on us; I’ll do that,” Barga said. “Their offense, they’ve got a nice offense that they run. Once they get ahead it’s hard to beat them.”
Bowman led Mississinawa Valley with 12 points on Saturday. Also for the Blackhawks, Scholl scored 7 points, Howell scored 6, Slob scored 6, Collins scored 2, and Dirmeyer scored 2.
Payton Jutte led Fort Recovery with a game-high 17 points, Schmitz scored 12, Ryan Braun scored 8, Cade Wendel scored 8, Derek Jutte scored 4, and Noah Lennartz scored 2.
Mississinawa Valley fell to 8-9-1 with Saturday’s loss. The Blackhawks will play host to National Trail on Tuesday.
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.