(DHI Media/ Reid Maus)
(DHI Media/ Reid Maus)
MIDDLE POINT — Ethan Kemler’s bank shot with time expiring from an out of bounds lob pass by Alex Bowersock, was the coup de grace of the 15 point run for Lincolnview to end the game as they beat Van Wert 58-57 Saturday.

It was a play that Van Wert’s head coach Mark Bagley saw coming, and a play that Lincolnview has ran since since Brett Hammons has been coaching the Lancers.

“We save it for occasions like this,” said Hammons on the in-bounds play the Lancers ran to win the game. “We don’t pull it out very often, because it’s used for times like this. We executed it perfectly. We tried to run it in a scrimmage and it didn’t work out so well— I’m glad it was saved for a better time like tonight.”

That buzzer-beating shot feels miles more important than Kemler’s basket to start off the game, but in the end they are both equally as valuable in a one point game. In fact the most improbable shot wasn’t the eight foot buzzer beater to end the game, but instead the 60 foot buzzer beater by Lincolnview’s Collin Overholt to close out the first quarter.

That Overholt 3-pointer gave the Lancers a four point lead. In fact Lincolnview lead for just a total of five minute and 17 seconds the entire game. Of the time they led, the great majority came subsequent from Overholt’s shot. Midway through the second quarter Van Wert’s Nate Place hit a three, to regain the lead. The Cougars would hold that lead until the final play of the game. The Cougars lost a game in which they were leading by 14 with four minutes to go.

“The responsibility is mine as the head coach to make sure that we finish with composure, and we had no composure down the stretch,” said Bagley on his team’s collapse at the end of the season opener. “We knew exactly what play they were going to run, we knew exactly what they were going to do. We drew it up exactly…and the ball went right over our head and they shot a lay up.”

Van Wert was in the driver seat. Starting the second half the Cougars looked ready to play. Place would strike for three buckets to start the third quarter which brought the Cougars lead to around double digits. Place would finish leading both teams in points with 21.

That lead would stagnate for Van Wert until mid way through the forth when three consecutive steals for the Cougars would convert into easy layups. Hammons decided to call a timeout with the score at 43-57 in favor of Van Wert. This was the turning point.

“I called the time out and talked with them, telling them that we were putting ourselves in mistakes that we just shouldn’t have been making,” said Hammons on that time out that changed the complexion of the game. “Our guys played hard. I’m glad they didn’t give up, they had that option and they chose not to— they chose to dig down and win the game.”

The fifteen point run started with a short Zane Miller jumper. After a defensive rebound, Logan Williams came down and knocked a 3-pointer to bring the deficit down to singe digits. Then the Lancers stole three straight turnovers and converted the lay ups to make the game a one possession affair at 54-57. Van Wert than did a good job at moving the ball around and ticking off a minute of the clock. Lincolnview then had to foul Owen Treece to send him to the line for a one-and-one. Treece missed the shot, the Lancers rebounded and Ethan Kemler found Kyle Wallis underneath the basket for a lay up— 56-57. After the ball was brought back in, Place was fouled and missed his subsequent free-throw. On the other end of the court Place then intercepted a pass out at the top of the key and was fouled again. After another missed free-throw and two timeouts the Lancers won on a lob pass lay-up to Kemler.

“I’m just proud of our guys,” concluded Hammons. “Van Wert is a fantastic team, Coach Bagley does a great job and to beat them is a nice way to start out the year. It’s always fun to play Van Wert, it’s a county rivalry. We had a home game and we want to make it difficult for teams to win here— I thought we did a good job of that tonight. We obviously have some stuff to clean up, but it’s a learning experience and we learned a lot about ourselves tonight.”

Van Wert is going to play another Van Wert county team in Parkway this Friday, as they look to bounce back from this loss with a home game. Lincolnview will travel to Upper Scitio Valley Friday for their second game of the season.

Summary:

Van Wert |14|18|19| 6

Lincolnview |18| 7|14|19

Van Wert:

Nate Place 21 pts, 5 reb

LeTrey Williams 11 pts, 4 ast, 8 reb

Owen Treece 7 pts

Blake Henry 7 pts

Lincolnview:

Ethan Kimler 16 pts, 7 reb, 3 ast

Logan Williams 9 pts

Kyle Wallis 9 pts

Zane Miller 10 pts, 8 reb, 5 ast

Jorge Salinas 6 pts, 2 ast