PIQUA – Ansonia played a strong first half, trailing Fort Loramie by one score, but the Redskins’ defense overwhelmed the Tigers in the second half, knocking them from the tournament, 47-24.
The Tigers would start the game down a key player with Hunter Muir unable to go, and it didn’t take Fort Loramie long to take advantage with 6-foot 7-inch Tyler Siegel, who scored two buckets to start the game. The Redskins’ Evan Berning scored 5 points to put Loramie on top 10-8 in the opening quarter.
Ansonia hung close though with Trevor Alexander and Brayden Swabb hitting from beyond the arch.
The Tigers would connect on 3 more in the second quarter; 2 more from Alexander and 1 from Hunter Buckingham.
The perimeter game was keeping the Tigers close as points were hard to get inside.
Fort Loramie out-rebounded Ansonia 18-10 in the first half, eight of them on the offensive glass, helping Loramie to a 22-19 lead at the break.
Ansonia played a pretty good first half and shot 5 of 11 from beyond the arch, but the Tigers would need to continue to make shots to keep pace.
“That’s been our M.O. all year,” Ansonia boys basketball coach Chad Cramer said. “We play really well in the first half, and I told myself if we are within 5, in the second half we’ll open up in four corners, stall and spread them out. We did, and we turned it over; that was it.”
The Fort defensive pressure at times was overwhelming with Ansonia giving up 4 to 5 inches and 20 to 30 pounds per player.
Ansonia came up empty from the perimeter in the third quarter and had one lone bucket on a reverse under the basket from Matthew Shook as Loramie opened up a 36-21 lead in the third quarter.
“We told our guys going in our margin for error was very small. If we got open looks we had to hit them, and we did that in the first half. In the third quarter we had some open looks and missed, some at the rim and missed. Part of that was they have 6-7 back there contesting,” Cramer said.
Despite the offensive struggles in the second half the Tigers continued to play hard, but in the end bowed out of the tournament, 47-24 to Loramie.
Fort Loramie shot 50 percent for the game and won the battle on the boards 34-15
“I’m proud of our guys effort tonight. They were fighting, scratching, clawing … Fort Loramie is such a good basketball team,” Cramer said.
The Tigers were led by Trevor Alexander with 9 points, all in the first half
For the second year in a row Ansonia finished the season with a 12-11 record.
“We’ve had back-to-back winning seasons the last two years and only the fifth winning season since 1994-95. Our guys have a lot to hang their hat on for what they have accomplished over the last couple of years and getting to a sectional final this year was great,” Cramer said.
Ansonia loses four seniors from the squad: Aydan Sanders, Brayden Swabb, Cody Sanders and Trevor Alexander.
“Our seniors are great guys who worked hard. They have great personalities and good character. They’re going to be great adults, great parents and great at whatever job or career they go into. I just can’t say enough about those four,” Cramer concluded.
Score by quarters:
AN … 08 … 11 … 02 … 03 – 24
FL …. 11 … 12 … 13 … 11 – 47
Ansonia – Devyn Sink 4, Brayden Swabb 3, Hunter Buckingham 6, Trevor Alexander 9, Matthew Shook 2; Totals 6-3-0/1 – 24
Ft. Loramie – Evan Berning 9, Cody Barhorst 3, Dillon Braun 8, Nathan Raterman 7, Austin Siegel 6, Tyler Siegel 14;
Totals 3-16-6/11 – 47