BY GREG FLINT
DELPHI, Ind. —
The sectional opener between the Seeger Patriots and Fountain Central was tied at the half, but the Mustangs took control in the third and fourth quarters to get the 59-49 win and advance to the second round of the Delphi 2A sectional.
Koby Pierce hit a trey to open the scoring for Fountain Central, one of five that the Mustangs would hit in the first quarter.
Nathan DeVillez countered with a pair of baskets for Seeger, but Luke Davenport drilled two more treys in response to put the Mustangs up 11-6.
Zach Stitt, who had scored the first bucket for the Patriots, came right back with two more baskets, but once again Fountain Central answered with a pair of treys, these by Sam Woodrow.
Brad Bowlus added a deuce right before the horn to give the Mustangs a 21-13 lead after one quarter.
“We didn’t really want to shoot those,” said Fountain Central head coach Jason Good. “They defended us so well we had to shoot three’s and some of them were really deep. We got lucky and they went in.”
Quarter two saw Seeger climb right back into the game as DeVillez and Caleb Orahood scored six straight to make it a two-point game at 21-19.
The teams then traded baskets with Fountain Central getting a slight edge until Borden Kennedy of the Patriots hit a trey to cut the margin to two with two minutes to go in the half.
DeVillez then tied the game and Orahood put the Patriots ahead before Michael Duane of the Mustangs tied the score at 30-all going into halftime.
“We game them some shots,” said Seeger head coach John Collins of the first two periods, “but then we dug in and battled back. We’ve done that all year.”
Fountain Central got on a roll as the third quarter started with Ethan Woodrow opening with a lay-up and Pierce adding his second three-pointer of the game.
When Davenport followed with a runner and Pierce got another short jumper, it was 39-32 and Seeger called a timeout.
At first it did not seem to help as Pierce scored two more of his game-high 15points to make it a double-digit lead, but Seeger began to close the gap – primarily behind lay-ups from Seth Lynch that pulled the Patriots within five.
The score was 45-41 after three quarters then both teams seemed to play as if they did not want to make the mistake the would cost their team the game.
As a result, there was on basket in the first three minutes – a lay-up by Ethan Woodrow. Then Duane added a trey and suddenly the lead was nine with under four to go in the game.
Seeger started to foul, trying to get back into the game, but Fountain Central hit enough free throws to hold off the Patriots and eventually go up by thirteen before Kennedy hit a late trey to make the final score 59-49.
The Mustangs had four players at double figures or nine points in Pierce, Sam Woodrow, Davenport and Duane — a fact that pleased Good — but then he also talked about the play of Ethan Woodrow.
“They worked hard on keeping him from getting open,” explained Good. “He played smart, especially for a sophomore. He didn’t force anything and for the first time all year led us in assists, so I’d say he had as good a game as the others.”
Good put his team into a zone in the second half, saying, “We probably haven’t played 10 plays in zone all year, but we had to cut off their dribbling on us.”
Collins agreed the zone was a problem, saying, “They went into the zone and that stopped our cuts. We got good looks, but the shots didn’t fall so they stayed in it.”
Collins said his team had battled all year, including making the two big comebacks in the sectional.
“We’ve got a good group of seniors who held us together all season. They battled all year long right to the end.”
Greg Flint is a freelance writer/photographer for the Commercial-News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org