Wednesday, December 28th, 2016
By Colin Foster
Patriots rally to knock off Indians
PORTLAND, Ind. - Fort Recovery was in control throughout most of Tuesday's contest with Jay County.
In the final seconds of the game, however, the Indians lost control and eventually lost the game.
Ryan Schlechty's three-pointer with four seconds remaining in regulation capped a 13-point fourth quarter comeback to send the game to overtime, and from there the Patriots outscored the Indians 15-5 for a 66-56 victory at Jay County High School.
The Indians led by double digits most of the way and even held a six-point cushion with 37 seconds to go in regulation. But the Patriots, who had hit just one three-pointer in the first 31 1/2 minutes, buried two triples in the final 20 seconds to even the score and force overtime
"We needed to do a better job of maximizing possessions late in the third and in the fourth quarter," Fort Recovery coach Chris Guggenbiller said. "They did a very good job of maximizing possessions and we did not.
"It's about maximizing those opportunities. It came down to them doing it a little better than we did tonight."
In the first quarter, the Indians received 10 points off the bench and created havoc on Jay County with their full court pressure, forcing six turnovers as they built a 17-11 lead.
The Indians held the Patriots scoreless for more than three minutes to open the second quarter and went up by double digits for the first time. Jay County trimmed the margin back to six points, but Matt Bihn's steal and layup put the finishing touches on a 6-0 run by Fort Recovery to close the half with a 30-18 advantage.
The Patriots, who had 14 turnovers by halftime, didn't record a turnover in the third quarter as they inched closer with a 12-7 surge. They were within six points, 37-31, before a Bihn triple gave the Indians a nine-point lead heading to the fourth.
Then the action heated up quickly.
Micaiah Cox hit back-to-back buckets for the Tribe to begin the period and give them a 13-point lead. But Fort Recovery's lead kept getting smaller and smaller from that point on.
The Patriots cut the deficit to seven with five minutes to play and had it down to 48-44 after a pair of free throws by Cole Stigleman two minutes later. Cox picked up a foul after turning over the ball with 1:54 to play, and Stigleman returned to the line to sink 1-of-2 to make it a three-point game.
The score remained the same until 37 seconds remained. Jay County's Jason Schlosser was slapped with a technical foul, which sent Cox back to the charity stripe where he hit 3-of-4 to make the score 51-45.
Jay Houck, who scored a game-high 22 points, hit a three-pointer with 18.6 seconds left. Jay County rebounded after Bihn missed the front end of a 1-and-1, and it led to Schlechty's tying bucket from the left-elbow extended with four seconds to play.
"We're still aiming to be the aggressor out there," said Guggenbiller, whose team committed six fourth-quarter turnovers. "Some of those turnovers occur in that aggressive kind of mindset, and I'm going to live with those any game of the week. We had some additional turnovers trying to get the ball inbounds against their full-court pressure, which we need to do a better job of tightening up."
Fort Recovery was called for three second violations on consecutive possessions to open the overtime session. Wyatt Geesaman gave Jay County its first lead of the night by sinking 1-of-2 at the line. He extended the margin to 54-51 with a layup the next trip down. Houck followed with a hoop-and-harm three-point play that increased the gap to 57-51 with 2:30 left.
The Patriots never let Fort Recovery closer than three points the rest of the way. Jay County connected on 8-of-11 at the line while Fort Recovery struggled on the offensive end, turning over the ball three times and shooting 1-of-6 from the floor.
Houck had a double-double with 22 points and 11 rebounds for Jay County (3-3). Geesaman finished with 13 points and Stigleman added 10.
Cox led Fort Recovery with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Bihn added 11 points.
The Indians (3-1) return to their home court on Friday to take on Ansonia.
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