The long awaited rematch between Toldeo St. John’s and Sylvania Southview lived up to hype.
For three quarters, the teams were separated by no more than five points and heading into the final period it remained anyone’s guess who might win but the Titans exploded for 31 fourth quarter points to prevail 67-50 and move on to the district finals.
In the first half, the Titans struggled to contain Southview’s dynamic point guard, Tim Hausfeld. Hausfeld used his ability to create his own shots to score 13 first half points including a long range three at the buzzer. Fortunately for the Titans, they were able to dominate the boards sufficiently enough to somewhat neutralize Hausfeld’s scoring. Tim Simmons and Andrew Schaetzke both pulled down 6 rebounds in the first half as the Titans outrebounded the Cougars, 19-12.
The largest lead for the Cougars occurred in the game’s opening minutes when they jumped out to a 8-2 advantage. The Titans quickly closed the gap and for the remainder of the first half, neither team enjoyed more than a five point advantage.
The third quarter was more of the same as neither team could establish dominance. Late in the quarter it appeared that the Titans were poised to take control but an old fashioned three point play by Southview’s Griff Whalen at the buzzer pulled the Cougars within two entering the final quarter.
After a slow paced first three quarters, the game began frantic in the fourth quarter. Just inside the six minute mark a series of plays occurred that turned a close game into one dominated by the Titans.
First, the Titans’ Michael Taylor hit a three pointer after a hard earned offensive rebound by Tim Kynard that extended the St. John’s lead to 8 points. Shortly thereafter a controversial no-call by the referees caused Southview coach Marc Jump to dramatically question the referees’ decision. Jump’s reaction resulted in a technical foul being assessed against the Cougars and, when the dust had cleared, the Cougars found themselves down by 14.
“Sometimes you do things to try and get your team fired up,” said Southview coach Marc Jump. “I just felt that the energy was being pulled from our team at that point. I tried to shake it up a little bit. Sometimes it pays off, tonight it didn’t.”
A key factor in the Titans’ success was the play of their three guards. During the regular season the Titans often had difficulty producing points but during the state playoffs Cheatham Norrils, Jay Springs and Michael Taylor have stepped up their offensive production. Against Southview, the three combined for 44 points with sophomore Jay Springs leading the way with 18. Cheatham Norrils added 15 and Taylor 11.
“We hit shots, we hit free throws, that helps,” said Titan coach Ed Heintschel. “Jay Springs is a great athlete. He is long and he works at it. His play on Hausfeld was sensational.”
Another big factor in the Titans’ victory was the inside play of their post players. Even before the fourth quarter offensive explosion, the Titan post players dominated the paint area. The Titans outrebounded the usually strong rebounding Cougar team, 41-22, with many of those rebounds being on the offensive end that resulted in put back baskets for the Titans.
“I thought the offensive rebounding was the difference,” said Jump. “They just killed us on the offensive glass.”
Two Titans, Tim Simmons with 12 and Andrew Schaetzke with 10 led the way in rebounding for the Titans. Tim Kynard only had 4 rebounds but reached double figures in scoring with 14.
The losing Cougars saw their leading scorer virtually shut down in the second half. After scoring 13 points in the first half, Hausfeld was held in check by the defensive play of St. John’s Jay Springs. Hausfeld scored in the first minute of the third quarter and never scored again until the Titans had established control of the game following the Southview technical. Hausfeld finished the contest with 21 points. Only one other Cougar, Josh Craig with 10 points, reached double figures.
With their win the Titans advance to familiar surroundings: the district finals. They will face Whitmer who later in the evening defeated Waite, 69-61.
Toledo Waite edges Toledo Whitmer 52-51
The second district semi-final game of the evening had an intriguing twist.
In their final regular season game, Whitmer and Waite met with Waite prevailing, 52-51. Tonight, Whitmer avenged that earlier loss by defeating the Indians, 69-60, to advance to a district final date with City League rival, St. John’s.
The Panthers were fortunate to be in the game early as the Waite Indians came out hot from the beyond the three point line. Hitting 7-of-12 in the first half from the 3-point zone, the Indians rode their long-range success to a 34-29 halftime lead. Unfortunately for the Indians, their 3-point success was also accompanied by some early foul trouble for their two big scorers, Khari Riley and Brent Meredith.
Riley and Meredith both picked up their second personal foul midway through the second quarter. At the time the Indians were up 34-23 but by halftime the Panthers had successfully carved into the Indian lead as the teams went to their locker rooms with Waite’s lead being only 5 points.
“To be honest, that (Riley and Meredith receiving their second fouls) was a big factor enabling us to cut the 11-point deficit to five by halftime,” Whitmer coach Bruce Smith said. “They were in foul trouble and they're obviously not the same team without those two outstanding players on the floor. That allowed us to right the ship and then we had halftime to compose ourselves.”
The Indians never recovered from the loss of momentum caused by the absence of Riley and Meredith. In the second half the Panthers remained hot offensively as their post players, Anton Willis and Kevin Koger, dominated inside. Koger with 20 and Anton Willis with 13 led the Panther offensive attack. Point guard Ryne Smith, despite suffering from a badly swollen right elbow that was injured in the game’s opening quarter, courageously added 19.
In the second half Whitmer took advantage of a Waite cold shooting spell (1/16) to eventually build a comfortable lead but the Indians made one final run to actually regain the lead, 51-49, with just under four minutes remaining in the final quarter. The Panthers, however, recovered and outscored the Indians, 20-10, during the game’s final three minutes.
Waite, whose season ends with this loss, were led in scoring by Khari Riley with 16 points. Robert Jackson added 13.