CIRCLEVILLE, Ohio — Basketball is a game of spurts.
The Toledo Emmanuel Christian boys basketball team held Ohio Valley Christian scoreless for 10 consecutive minutes Friday night en rout to a 42-29 victory in the Ohio Christian School Athletic Association state semi-final at the Maxwell Center on the campus of Ohio Christian University.
The Warriors outscored OVCS 7-to-2 over the opening four minutes of the game, but the Defenders answered with a 6-to-2 spurt to end the opening period. OVCS made 4-of-8 shots in the first quarter for 50 percent.
Ohio Valley Christian failed to score in the opening 3:30 of the second stanza, a stretch in which ECS scored 10 points. The Blue and White scored three points to cut the ECS led to single digits with 4:00 remaining in the half. After a 3:47 scoring draught the Warriors got back on the board with two points in the final minute, pushing the lead to 10 points at halftime. OVCS shot 1-of-9 from the field in the second, while being held scoreless for the final 4:18.The Warriors led 21-11 at halftime.
The ECS offense came out of the half in a stall technique, not taking a shot until the 4:10 mark of the third. The Warriors scored four points to open the lead to 14 points. The Defenders lone field goal of the period came at the 3:17 mark, their first points in 10:01. ECS out scored OVCS 7-to-2 over the remainder of the third to expand the lead to 32-15 with eight minutes remaining in the game.
Emmanuel Christian began the fourth period with a 9-to-2 4:30 run, extending the lead to a game-high 24 points. OVCS out scored the Green and White 12-to-1 over the final 3:30 of regulation, but the Warriors claimed the 42-29 victory.
“The biggest difference was that we just didn’t make a lot of our open shots,” Ohio Valley Christian coach Steve Rice said. “We didn’t make hardly anything in the first half except some open layups. I felt like we beat their press really well but as far as our open jump shots, we just weren’t knocking them down.”
Junior T.G. Miller led the Defenders with 17 points, followed by Chance Burleson with five and Evan Bowman with five. Marshall Hood and Eric Blevins each contributed two points, rounding out the OVCS total.
For the game Ohio Valley Chirstian shot 11-of-36 (30.6 percent) from the field, including 1-of-8 (14.5 percent) from beyond the arc. Evan Bowman made the lone Defender triple. OVCS shot 6-of-10 from the free throw line for 60 percent. The Defenders had 18 rebounds in the game, but turned the ball over 18 times.
The Warriors were led by Ryan Creech with 19 points and Bobby Behan with 11. Jason Regnier had five points, Trent Groenhout had four, while Nate Creech rounded out the ECS total with three points.
“I thought our defense was excellent,”Rice said. “Their team averages about 65 points a game so to hold them in the 40’s, I thought we played very good defense”
As a team the Warriors shot 6-of-7 (85.7 percent) from the free throw line and 16-of-45 (35.6 percent) from the field, including 4-of-10 (40 percent) from beyond the arc. Emmanuel Christian committed 18 turnovers, while grabbing 27 rebounds.