PIQUA – The Ansonia boys basketball team drained 9 triples snapping a 5 game losing streak at the right time to defeat Riverside 54-42 in the opening round of the OHSAA DIV Boys Sectional Tournament at Piqua High School.
“It’s been frustrating (5 game losing streak) we’ve been playing good basketball but we’ve done one thing late in every game that bites us and tonight we didn’t let that happen,” Ansonia boys basketball coach Devin Limburg said.
Ansonia trailed by 2 points at the end of the first quarter 13-11 but was starting to heat up from the perimeter with Reece Stammen and Ian Schmitmeyer connecting.
Garret Stammen opened the 2nd quarter with a triple from the corner giving the Tigers a 14-13 lead, one they wouldn’t relinquish the rest of the contest.
Ansonia was patient in their dribble drive attack and moved the ball well taking good shots in the flow of their offense. All 5 starters scored in the quarter, 14 points total, while holding Riverside to just 8 for a 25-21 lead at intermission.
In the third quarter the Tigers expanded their lead to 33-24 with Reece Stammen scoring on a lay-up at the rim along with Schmitmeyer knocking down two triples.
But Riverside wasn’t about to roll over cutting the margin to 34-30 behind senior John Zumberger scoring 6 straight points.
Ansonia steadied the ship closing out the quarter with a triple by Reece and a fielder from Ethan Hemmerich to lead 39-34 heading into the final stanza.
Based on recent history many had to be thinking here we go again … but the Tigers didn’t look like a team who had lost 5 games in a row by less than 7 points … they looked poised, patient and under control.
Part of that control was in the hands of senior guards Reece Stammen with 17 points, Isaac Barga 10 and sophomore Ian Schmitmeyer with 15 on the night.
“I thought our seniors controlled the pace and managed the game well tonight. The moment wasn’t too big and Ian Schmitmeyer hits some big 3’s in the game that relaxed us.” Limburg stated.
“We hit some threes tonight that we don’t do very often, all week in practice they were shooting the ball well and tonight it was nice to see them go in. Our guys got good looks, stepped into the shots and were ready to knock them down,’ Limburg praised.
That sentiment was echoed by Reece Stammen.
“In practice we go so hard in shooting drills, we are very competitive and usually shoot the ball really well, finally it showed up tonight,” Stammen said.
The Tigers still had work to do on defense for another quarter and to take care of the ball well when the pressure comes and they did just that.
“When they (Riverside) brought the pressure later in the 4th quarter we took a timeout to tell our guards to remain calm, stay in control and to the backside guys to not stand around and watch, be ready to move around, try to get lay-ups and we got a couple of them,” said a pleased Limburg after the game.
Ansoniaspread the floor in the final quarter taking easy shots if they were there including a couple of open looks from Isaac Barga from deep to keep Riverside at bay from making any kind of comeback.
The Tigers went on to win the tournament game 54-42 advancing to the 2nd round of the tournament where they will take on #3 seed Fort Loramie Tuesday, 5 pm at Piqua High School.
“We know Fort Loramie is going to be a difficult challenge, they play great defense and have tremendous athletes but our guys are excited and our coaching staff is excited to get this opportunity and we’ll be ready to play,” Limburg concluded.
Talking to Reece Stammen after the game he was all smiles knowing he and Isaac would be playinganother game and the tough stretch they just went through was all worth it to win a tournament game.
“It’s been a tough 5-6 game stretch with two back-to-back losses by 1 point,” Reece said.
“We’ve been working so hard on our defense and tonight wasthe most disciplined we’ve been all year and it showed,” he added.
“There have been stretches this yearwhere we’ve gone too quick on offense taking some bad shots. All season we’ve heard; reverse the basketball, go corner to corner, lets wear the defense down, get to the rim, we did thattonight and shot the ball really well … and boy was that a lot of fun,” Stammen beamed.
You get the feeling Coach Limburg and the Ansonia Tigers are ready for the next challenge and for seniors Reece Stammen and Isaac Barga they are happy to get at least one more game in a Tiger uniform.
Score by Quarter
Ansonia 11 … 14 … 14 …15 – 54
Riverside 13 … 08 … 13 … 08 – 42
Ansonia: ReeceStammen 17, Isaac Barga 10, Garrett Stammen 5, Ian Schmitmeyer 15, Ethan Hemmerich 7; Totals: 9-9-9/13 – 54
Riverside: Zumberger 16, Platfoot 2, Long 4, Stewart 10, Jackson 4, Whitaker 3, Burk 3;
Totals 0-18-6/9 – 42