Sages get it half right
MONTICELLO – Two Monticello teams showed up for Friday's Okaw Valley Conference boys' basketball game against Meridian.
The first scored 21 points in the first quarter and 28 in the fourth. Meridian outscored the other 39-13 in the second and third periods en route to a 76-62 victory.
"We played well in the first and fourth quarters," Monticello coach Kevin Roy said, "but I don't know where we went in the middle. They stepped it up in the second, and we just stayed on cruise control. They came out and defended us hard, and we didn't handle it very well. They just outplayed us and outworked us."
A rebound basket by Nathan Swarts gave the Sages a 27-25 lead with 3:37 left in the first half. Alex Head had two layups off steals and two more on drives as the Hawks scored the final eight points of the first half and the first seven of the third period for a 40-27 lead.
"I was proud of our team's defensive effort," veteran Meridian coach Jack Blickensderfer said. "I knew they would come out fired up. We were able to weather the storm. They are a good team so maybe we are better than I think.
" Head is all heart and hustle. He's the heart and sole of our team. He goes 100 percent every play."
Jacob Shasteen led the Hawks with 22 points. Head contributed 21 points, six rebounds, five assists and six steals.
"We kept up the defensive pressure," Head said. "They got a little lax with their passes, and we were able to get some steals. We were concerned about this game. They are a good team, and they always play well at home."
Curtis Leischner led the Sages with 21 points, 12 of them coming on three-pointers in the fourth period. Neal Phelps had three final-quarter treys to finish with 16 points.
"We can't play half a game and expect to win," Leischner said. "The bad second quarter hurt us. We didn't pick up the pressure on defense the way we needed when we were scoring early either. We started getting better looks and making some shots late in the game but it was too late.
"We just can't get ourselves in that position."
W-L 49, Tuscola 45
The host Warriors gave Class 1A's top-ranked team a scare, Warrensburg-Latham making 10 of 12 free throws to hold on.
Clayton Meyer led Tuscola with 14 points. Blake Bassett and Dane Winn scored 11 and 10, respectively, and John Wienke had 11 rebounds.
Unity 67, St. Teresa 32
John Humer led a balanced attack with 15 points and seven rebounds as host Unity (6-6) raced to a 36-10 halftime lead. Tim Collins (13 points), Zebo Zebe (11) and Nate Cain (eight) sparked the Rockets, who forced 17 turnovers.
Sullivan 65, Clinton 64. Chance Typer scored 18 points and Blane Lawyer added 12 as visiting Sullivan rallied in the fourth quarter. Chris Marrs and Dalton Shasteen added 11 and 10 points, respectively, in the win.
Josh Barr paced Clinton with 18 points, and Kyle Welch had 13.
Central A&M 68, A-O 59
Zach Ferguson led host Argenta-Oreana with 24 points. Derek Hodges added 16.