Toledo St. John’s holds off Sylvania Southview in OT in first ever meeting

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Michael Taylor led St. John’s with 30 points, game-winning shot
Toledo St. John’s and Sylvania Southiew are located only a few miles apart from each other but for 35 years the two teams had never met on a basketball court during the regular season until last night.

And based on the excitement created by their first meeting – a 87-85 overtime St. John’s win – subsequent meetings seem a certainty.



TOLEDO – Toledo St. John’s and Sylvania Southiew are located only a few miles apart from each other but for 35 years the two teams had never met on a basketball court during the regular season until last night.

And based on the excitement created by their first meeting – a 87-85 overtime St. John’s win – subsequent meetings seem a certainty.

An enthusiastic, standing room only crowd witnessed a game that rarely occurs this early in a typical season. Southview came in with an unblemished record but had not been tested by any quality team while St. John’s had not lost since opening the season on the road against Shaker Heights. Something had to give but it took an extra period and some great individual heroics by the participants to decide a winner.

The home team Titans enjoyed the lead throughout most of the evening. The Cougars only had the lead twice in the contest, once at 10-9 in the first quarter, and then again in the overtime, 79-78, but despite playing from behind all night, the pesky Cougars would not go away.

The first half was a true struggle for Southview. The Titans out-rebounded the Cougars badly, 21-11, and this imbalance allowed the Titans to convert on many second chance opportunities that saw the Titans leading by as many as nine points. To make matters worse, the first half also saw Jordan Scott, one of the Cougars’ best rebounders, accumulate his fourth foul only three-and-a-half minutes into the second quarter.

The big gun for the Titans in the first half was junior Tim Kynard. Kynard is ordinarily not relied upon for scoring but Kynard was dominating the paint for the Titans and he used this dominance to put 16 points on the scoreboard by halftime.

“(Kynard) wasn’t doing anything special,” said St. John’s coach Ed Heinstchel. “He just happened to be working hard and be in the right spot at the right time. He had a great night.”

Despite being out rebounding badly and having one of their starters on the bench with four fouls, the Cougars managed to battle hard and used an intentional foul by one of the Titans to pull themselves within five points at the 3:42 mark of the second quarter and actually had two opportunities to tie the game before half time but were unsuccessful and had to be satisfied retiring to their locker room trailing by three, 42-39.

The third quarter was both good and bad for the Titans. In the first six minutes of the quarter the Titans pulled away from the Cougars and with only two minutes remaining actually enjoyed their largest lead of the evening at 60-49. This advantage, however, was short lived as Southview scored the last five points of the quarter and cut the lead to only six as the teams prepared for the final frame.

The fourth quarter was a tight affair. St. John’s managed to maintain its lead but Southview would not go away.

“Every time we got on a roll they came back,” Heintschel said.

Finally, with only 4.8 seconds remaining, it appeared that the Titans had put the game out of reach when junior Michael Taylor converted on two free throws to put the Titans up at 74-71, but the Cougars still had some magic left. Junior Shaun Joplin used the few remaining seconds of regulation to put the game into overtime. Joplin, while carefully glancing at the clock shortly before taking his shot from the top of the key, calmly put the ball through the basket as the horn sounded.

The overtime period quickly developed into the Michael Taylor show. Taylor, who finished with a game-high 30 points, scored nine of his team’s 13 overtime points and, by doing so, fought off the Southview surge.

“Michael was awesome,” Heintschel said. “He took it upon himself to get the job done and, in doing so, showed true leadership. In the overtime he was the difference.”

St. John’s took the early lead in the overtime but Southview fought back and actually took only their second lead of the game at 78-77 before Titan sophomore Jay Springs put the Titans on top, 79-78, to stay by converting on two free throws. The teams exchanged baskets over the final two minutes to prevail, 87-85.

“If you keep your head up and keep playing hard, you'll end up getting the victory. We needed this win,” said Taylor. “It was a test for us. If we keep playing hard like that we can go a long ways this year.”

Michael Taylor led the Titan attack with 30 points but fellow guard Jay Springs added 18 and Tim Kynard, 16. Tim Simmons made his contribution by pulling down 16 rebounds.

For the Cougars, Tim Hausfeld led the way with 19 but five other Cougars also hit double figures. Andy Borcherdt came off the bench to score 17 while Derrick Creque had 14 and Josh Craig 12.

 

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