PIQUA – Mississinawa Valley put up a good fight for 3 quarters before Russia was able to pull away to secure a first round win in OHSAA DIV Boys Basketball sectional tournament by the score of 75-49.
The Blackhawks clearly the underdog didn’t play that way and trailed by just 3 points 21-18 at the end of the 1st quarter. Matt Pisano went to work inside scoring 8 points, Troy Woodbury and Jake Loy each had 4 points in the period.
The Raiders shut down the inside game in the 2nd quarter, but Dylan Wehrkamp had 5 points and Connor Shimp hit a triple, but the Raiders expanded their lead to 37-30 at the break.
“You know, early in the game we played with a lot of energy and heart and took it to Russia.
All week we practiced five on seven. Seven defensive guys trying to mimic what the help side defense of Russia was going to look like, and I think it helped the boys a lot in that first half,” Mississinawa coach Nick Hamilton said.
The Hawks kept it close in the early part of the 3rd quarter but then shots started coming up short and a turnover here are there along with 2nd and 3rd chance opportunities for the Raiders extended their lead to 54-38.
In the final quarter the Hawks couldn’t close the gap but continued to play hard with the senior boys laying it all on the line in what would turn out to be their last game in a Mississinawa Valley uniform in a 75-49 loss.
“I have to give it up to these boys for the way they played against Union City, Indiana the other night, (70-49 win) and then tonight against Russia. It’s probably been their best two games of the year. It’s disappointing the final score was 75 to 49 tonight … but the game was a lot closer than that until the fourth quarter and they gave the #6 team in the state everything they had tonight. The seniors are obviously devastated. They played hard. They tried to do everything they could be we just ran out of steam at the end,” Hamilton praised.
“We gave up way too many 2nd and 3rd chance points tonight due to rebounding and that has been our Achilles heel all year long. But I’m very proud of each and every one of those boys for the game they played tonight. It’s an extremely tough sectional and my message to the seniors is if that game was any other sectional, you probably would have won … but we played the #6 team in the state very tough and they didn’t want it their season to end tonight,” Hamilton concluded.
It was the last game for Troy Woodbury, Matt Pisano, Jake Loy, Drew Anguiano and Connor Shimp.
Matt Pisano led MV with 18 points, Connor Shimp had 8, Jake Loy and Drew Anguiano 6 each, Troy Woodbury 4 and Aron Hunt 2 point.
The Hawks end the season 6-17 overall and 3-8 in the WOAC.