Whenever the day comes that Pettisville starts playing football, head basketball coach Brian Leppelmeier will probably head up the fall sport as well.
Making moves like a Super Bowl champion, Leppelmeier created matchups to his liking to break away from a 39-39 fourth quarter tie, to eventually put away Delta 50-42 to boost the Blackbirds record to 8-1 Thursday.
“Obviously that is our focus is to get paint touches,” Leppelmeier said of his team’s game winning spurt. “And that’s what happened that stretch late in the game when we reversed the ball and got the one-on-one matchup we liked (with Graeme Jacoby) in isolation.”
What happened was that the stout Pettisville sophomore got the better of Delta inside, scoring 10 of his 14 points in the second half, and when he wasn’t getting his way, Candidate Vickery was cleaning the offensive boards for hoops – including two big ones in the fourth quarter.
The first came with 4:22 to go when he put back his own miss to give Petisville a 41-39 lead, then after Jacoby knocked home two from the foul line, Vickery scored another stick back to make it 45-39 with 2:46 left.
“We are sending people to crash the glass,” said Leppelmeier. “If they are sending someone to double, then someone should be able to get to the rim. Those are the effort plays, those are the plays that win you basketball games.”
Early on it was Bowen Green and Brady Wymer scoring 21 straight Delta points to help the Panthers to a 29-24 third quarter lead.
But that’s when Leppelmeier went with exclusively Jacoby inside to battle Green and the Blackbirds began their comeback.
“I thought Graeme was a bigger physical presence for (Green) to guard,” Leppelmeier explained. “It made a difference in the way we entered the post and reversed the ball to get to him.”
Jacoby scored six of the last eight Blackbird points in the third, including an offensive rebound hoop at the buzzer when it seemed as if the Panthers thought the quarter was over to give Pettisville the lead.
Jacoby’s pair of free throws with 5:43 left in the game gave Pettisville a 39-35 lead but a Seth Burris power move and 2 of 4 from the line from Gabe Freeman and Green knotted the game at the 4:53 mark before Vickery and Jacoby took over.
The Blackbirds iced the game by hitting 9 of 10 from the foul stripe in the fourth while the Panthers were just 6 for 15 for the game, including 4 of 11 from Green.
Green did have 19 points in the loss but the Blackbirds were a much more balanced attack as Jacoby had 14, Vickery 11, Detric Yoder and Justin Rupp nine each.
Pettisville added a BBC win over North Central Saturday night to go to 9-1 on the year while Delta fell to Lake 53-49 to fall to 2-7.
The Blackbirds have a pair of road games this week as they are at Fayette this Thursday and Edgerton on Saturday. Delta is at Wauseon in NWOAL play Thursday before hosting Stryker on Saturday.
Reach Joe Blystone at email@example.com