UNION CITY – The Mississinawa Valley boys basketball team built a 14-1 lead in the first half over Ansonia and the Tigers never recovered from that 13 point deficit falling to the Hawks 46-33.
The Hawks defense was good enough to hold Ansonia without a single field goal in the first half something very rare in the game of basketball. In fact, if not for a single free throw made by Garrett Stammen, the score would have been more reflective of a football game rather than basketball.
Mississinawa Valley showed improvement in executing their offense even though they only scored 14 points in the half, most of those scores were from getting the ball inside and scoring in the paint.
Zach Connor scored 6 points in the first half, Wyatt Feltner 4 and Drew Anguiano and Trey Godfrey each had a deuce for the 14-1 lead at the break.
Mississinawa Valley coach Tim Barga was pleased with their defensive effort but still had a message for his team at the half.
“I was thrilled with our defense, to only give up one point to Ansonia, I would have never guessed that,” Barga said. “We didn’t put many points on the board ourselves and being up by only 13 points to a good three-point shooting team means we still have to continue to play good defense,” he added.
Mississinawa came out with a spark expanding their lead to twenty on a triple from Troy Woodbury at the 3:07 mark for a 23-3 lead. Woodbury buried another to put the Hawks up 29-7 for their largest lead heading into the final stanza.
After going three quarters and only scoring 7 points the Tigers would explode for 25 in the 4th period. They turned the game into a physical one in an effort to create as many miscues to their advantage to get back in the game.
“We knew they were going to bring pressure and we were going to have to control it, and it really got physical, especially in that 4th quarter,” Barga stated.
The pressure applied started to yield immediate results as the Tigers closed the gap to 31-18 by the 4 minute mark.
Ansonia senior Reece Stammen was held scoreless in the first three quarters part of that due to good disciplined defense with Drew Anguiano leading the charge. Anguiano fouled out in the final stanza and Stammen erupted for 15 points, many in the open floor off turnovers in an attempt to rally his team.
But the Tigers never got the kind of run needed to get the lead below double digits, primarily due to the number of times they sent the Hawks to the free throw line.
“Ansonia was fouling early and we didn’t want to give the ball away under their basket which we did a few times … so I movedour bigger guys up to receive the ball in, they also happen to be our best free throw shooters and you have to make them to win, and we did a good job of that,” Barga praised.
Mississinawa toed the line 22 times in the 4th quarter converting 15, good enough to thwart any come-back hopes by Ansonia.
The Tigers scored 25 points in the 4th but free throws saved the day as the Hawks made the 13 point first half lead hold up for a 46-33 Cross County Conference win.
For Tim Barga this was the first time all year long he was able to have his whole team playing together and at full strength.
“All of our scrimmage games we didn’t have everybody there, didn’t have everybody at practices and we had to keep going over plays, this has been the first time we’ve all been together, it’s been challenging … but now we got everybody and we are starting to execute,” Barga concluded.
The Blackhawks had a trio of seniors score in double figure with Wyatt Feltner scoring 12 and Trey Godfrey and Zach Connor each adding 11 points.
Ansonia falls to 3-2 overall and 1-2 in the conference and will travel to Fort Recovery Saturday.
Mississinawa Valley improves to 2-3 overall and 1-3 in the conference and travels to Preble Shawnee Saturday.
Score by Quarters
AN 0 … 01 … 07 … 15 – 33
MV 10..04 … 15 … 17 – 46
AN – R. Stammen 15, Shelhaas 2, Beam 1, Barga 7, G. Stammen 1, Schmitmeyer 3,
Hemmerich 4; Totals 3-8-8/16 – 33
MV – Dirmeyer 1, Woodbury 6, Feltner 12, Anguiano 5, Godfrey 11, Conner 11;
Totals 2-12-16/24 – 46