DELPHOS — One boys basketball coach is starting to find some answers. The other is still looking for them.
Jefferson head coach Jordan Jettinghoff is the former and Columbus
Grove first-year head man Chris Sautter is the latter after a 53-36
Northwest Conference triumph by the Wildcats Friday night on The Stage.
Wildcats (4-6, 2-0 NWC) — winners of three straight — shot 51 percent
from the field (25-of-49), with Jace Stockwell’s 21 points and Tyler
Bratton’s 10 leading the way.
“We had five guys defending as one
tonight. We knew we had to help on (Rece) Roney but when he got the
ball, we had guys doubling down on him and yet recovering to their
shooters quickly; it also helps that we have some size to combat him and
rotated people on him to wear him down,” Jettinghoff said. “We also won
the boards by a lot. The kids are starting to really catch on to the
fact that when we limit our opponents’ second opportunities on our
defensive glass, we can be very difficult to score against.”
the other end, the Bulldogs (2-5, 0-2) only canned 13-of-40 from the
field (33 percent), with Roney and Caiden Grothaus downing 11 and Logan
“We have the physical ability without a doubt. Where we
are lacking is between the ears,” Sautter said. “When things don’t go
our way, we have guys hanging their heads or not focusing on the job at
hand. We don’t have that one guy yet that can take the leadership of
this team and make sure we’re doing and playing as we’re supposed to. If
we find that, we’ll be OK, but until we do, we’ll struggle. We haven’t
played in two weeks and it showed but we still have that problem.”
Malsam’s 3-pointer at 7:10 gave the Bulldogs the early lead, there was
one trade of the lead and one tie. Grove led 6-4 on a foul shot by Roney
at the 5-minute mark, but Stockwell tied it with a basket a short time
later, and Alex Rode gave the Wildcats the lead a minute later. With the
Wildcats limiting the Bulldogs to one shot nearly every time down and
keeping Roney from dominating inside, the Wildcats led 12-9 after one
Jefferson’s offense stayed humming in the second period
as they turned the visitors over five times and shot a smooth 7-of-12
versus 4-of-8 for their guests. Stockwell’s eight led the first period
for the hosts and Rode stepped up for six in the second. Drake Schmitt
and Stockwell netted back-to-back baskets — the latter at 4:30 to give
the hosts the lead for good — and jump-started a 15-2 run. Rode’s
15-footer from the right wing two seconds before the horn gave the hosts
a 27-17 halftime edge.
That run continued into the third period
as Brenen Auer hit a transition basket at 7:16 for a 29-17 edge. Grove’s
rally then was short-lived as the Wildcats eventually built a 35-22
edge on a jumper form the left corner by Tyler Bratton at 3:22 before
Grove started to come back and got within 39-32 on a foul shot by Roney .
Wildcats held Grove pointless for the first 4:38 of the finale, taking a
45-35 advantage at 5:03 on a free throw by Auer. A 3-point play by
Malsam at 3:22 broke the streak but that was the last hurrah as the
Bulldogs did not score again.
Columbus Grove hosts Fort Jennings in a PCL clash Saturday. Jefferson visits Crestview in NWC action next Friday.
COLUMBUS GROVE (36)
Grothaus 5-12 1-1 11, Ryan Tabler 0-1 0-0 0, Grant Cassidy 1-2 0-0 3,
Grayson Flores 0-2 0-0 0, Logan Schroeder 0-3 1-2 1, Lachlan Clymer 0-1
0-0 0, Logan Malsam 4-7 1-1 10, Rece Roney 3-12 4-6 11. Totals 13-40
Jace Stockwell 10-21 1-1 21, Drew
Reiss 3-7 1-1 7, Trey Gossman 0-0 0-0 0, Tyler Bratton 5-7 0-0 10,
Brenen Auer 1-3 1-2 3, Kyle Wreede 0-1 0-0 0, Alex Rode 4-5 0-0 8,
Davion Tyson 0-1 0-0 0, Nick Long 0-0 0-0 0, Drake Schmitt 2-4 0-0 4.
Totals 25-49 3-4 52.
Col. Grove 9 8 15 4 - 36
Jefferson 12 15 12 14 - 53
Field Goals/Percentage: Columbus Grove 3-13/23 (Cassidy, Malsam,
Roney), Jefferson 0-4/0. Rebounds: Columbus Grove 21/4 off. (Roney 7),
Jefferson 31/8 off. (Rode 10). Assists: Columbus Grove 8 (Roney 3),
Jefferson 11 (Reiss/Rode 3). Steals: Columbus Grove 6 (Malsam/Roney 2),
Jefferson 10 (Reiss 5). Blocks: Columbus Grove 2 (Grothaus/Roney 1),
Jefferson 5 (Bratton/Schmitt 2). Turnovers: Columbus Grove 15, Jefferson
11. Fouls: Columbus Grove 13, Jefferson 11.