PIQUA – It was the third meeting this season between Ansonia and Mississinawa Valley in boys’ basketball. The Tigers won on the road 33-25 only to see the Blackhawks beat them at home 43-31. The rubber match was at a neutral site at Piqua High School’s Garbry gymnasium. Both communities showed up in force and the outcome wasn’t decided until the end with Ansonia pulling out a 38-35 win.
It was a special night for Ansonia basketball, not only were they moving on to the second round of the Division IV sectional tournament, but they also got to witness two milestones in the process. Hunter Muir joined the 1,000-point club and Hunter Buckingham broke the single-season record for 3-pointers in a season.
It would be no surprise that it was a low scoring game given the previous two meetings with defense being the name of the game.
With the score tied 6-6 in the opening frame Buckingham popped a trey from beyond the top of the arch with two defenders outstretched arms in his face, but it was nothing but net and that shot gave the Tigers a 9-6 first quarter lead. It was a timely triple by Buckingham and it also etched his name in the Ansonia record book for the most 3’s in a single season.
Coming into the game Buckingham had 73 triples with his first one breaking the record at 74. After the game Ansonia coach Devin Limburg commented on the record by Buckingham.
“I’m really proud of him. He comes in the gym everyday working on ways to get better not just shooting the ball, but by improving his footwork and making contested shots,. He just has that drive to get better,” Limburg praised.
The Tigers interior defense would shut down Mississinawa by limiting D.J. Howell good touches in the paint and the only offense provided in the second quarter for the ‘Hawks were three drives in traffic by Max Dirmeyer for scores.
Buckingham stayed hot and dropped two more triples in the second quarter and with time running out on the clock it was Muir’s turn to reach a milestone.
While falling down in traffic the senior banged in a fielder off the glass to record points number 1,000 and 1,001 becoming just the fourth player in Ansonia history to break that mark.
“I’m also really happy for Hunter Muir getting his 1,000th point tonight. It was like many he’s had over his career in the way that he did it. It was a tough basket and one that gave us a lot of momentum right at the end of the half,” Limburg applauded.
The first half was full of dramatics for the Tigers, who led 22-14 at the break.
Mississinawa wasn’t going to let Ansonia waltz away out of Miami County without doing some fancy footwork and stormed back with Blake and Alex Scholl both connecting on triples. Blake scored 7 points and Alex 5 narrowing the Tiger lead to one, 27-26.
Ansonia’s Matt Farrier scored his only points on drive down the lane, a left-handed layup as the clock expired in the third quarter to give the Tigers a little momentum going up 29-26 heading into the final stanza.
Mississinawa got a couple free throws from Blake Scholl and Trent Collins grabbing the lead for the first time since the first quarter 30-29 and the battle was on.
Back came the Tigers with Andrew Rowland getting a stick back to regain the lead momentarily until Collins’ turn-around jumper in the paint made it 32-31 in favor of MV at 4:42.
Muir answered with the bucket and the harm to flip the score to 34-32 in favor of the Tigers and you knew this game was going to the wire.
Cody Dirksen got an offensive rebound and putback at 1:32 to tie the game at 34-34 prompting an Ansonia timeout. The Tigers showed patience working the ball on offense until Matthew Shook was open from 12 feet and the senior was good for a two-point lead with 30 seconds to play.
Ansonia fouled Blake Scholl and the junior made 1-of-2 free throws, but sophomore Reece Stammen sank a couple of his own charity throws to keep the Tigers up 38-35.
“What a great moment for Reece Stammen. He’s a kid that I’ve coached through junior high and he would be the first to tell you he didn’t have his best game, but when the game was on the line he stepped forward and made two big ones and that was awesome,” Limburg complimented.
Mississinawa had one last long range shot attempt, but it came up short ending their season. The only player to reach double figures for the ‘Hawks was Blake Scholl with 12 points.
Ansonia was led by Buckingham with 12 and Muir 11, both with record-setting nights to remember and one that coach Limburg will appreciate as well in his first year at the helm of the Tigers.
“It’s big to come in here as a first year coach and get a win, to get it off my back and we couldn’t do it without the kids. They had a great week of practice and I’m just glad we were rewarded for that. We are looking forward to playing Botkins in the next round,” Limburg concluded.
Ansonia will take on Botkins in the second round of the D-IV sectional tournament at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 26 at Piqua.
Score by quarters
Mississinawa Valley – Max Dirmeyer 0-3-0/0 – 6, Trent Collins 0-2-2/2 – 6, Alex Scholl 1-0-2/2 – 5, Cody Dirksen 0-2-0/2 – 4, Blake Scholl 2-1-5/6 – 12, D.J. Howell 0-0-2/2 – 2. Totals 2-9-11/14 – 35.
Ansonia – Matthew Farrier 0-1-0/0 – 2, Reece Stammen 0-0-2/2 – 2, Hunter Buckingham 4-0-0/0 – 12, Matthew Shook 0-2-0/0 – 4, Hunter Muir 0-4-3/5 – 11, Andrew Rowland 0-3-1/3 – 7. Totals 4-10-6/10 – 38.
3-pointers – Mississinawa Valley 2 (A. Scholl 1, B. Scholl 1), Ansonia 4 (Buckingham 4).