After an even opening frame Archbold jumped out to a big lead, then held off a Pettisville rally as the Blue Streaks downed the neighboring Blackbirds 62-52 last Friday in front of a great crowd in Archbold in a non-league boys basketball contest.
“We expected that,” Archbold coach Doug Krauss said of the Blackbirds giving his team a tough outing. “That’s a nice group. They’re aggressive. I knew it was going to be a tough ballgame.”
The teams played an even first quarter, which ended at 17-all. That all changed in the second period where Archbold held Pettisville to four points. Austin Wiemken had two of the first three baskets in the second period for Archbold, and both came on passes from Bryce Williams. In between, Caleb Wooley scored as Archbold jumped out to the lead.
Wooley also helped shut down the inside play of the Blackbirds in the second period.
“We got some really good defensive play out of Caleb Wooley,” mentioned Krauss.
Pettisville needed a timeout with 4:24 left in the half, and that led to the first field goal in the period when Landon Roth scored. However, Archbold went right back to work. Eli Miller picked up a bucket, Rigo Ramos knocked down a trey and Williams broke away for a score for a 32-19 lead.
The Streaks added a couple scores inside the final minute of the half. Kaiden Bedsole hit a trey, then Williams dropped a layup off the glass at the horn to put the Streaks ahead 38-21 at the half.
Pettisville began to rally in the third period, but really closed the gap in the final stanza. Trailing by nine with under six minutes left, the Blackbirds’ offense got rolling. A Graeme Jacoby basket had the game at 50-44, however, Archbold answered with a free throw and a triple by Bedsole with 3:35 left to push the lead back to 54-44.
“We were getting stops at the other end,” Pettisville coach Brian Leppelmeier said of the fourth period. “We were getting the basketball back inside. Your defense gets a lot better when your defense is scoring.”
The Blackbirds again trimmed the lead to six. Dillon King started a run with a floater in the lane, plus Jacoby added a basket in the lane to cut the lead to 54-48 with 2:33 left. Jacoby was fouled on his basket, but couldn’t convert for the three-point play.
“The only thing I ask is for our kids to play hard,” stated Leppelmeier. “We had a great start to the game, then we dug ourselves that hole. I was real proud of the way we came back and just battled all night long.”
Once again the Streaks had an answer. Bryce Williams led the way, adding a free throw and a score for a 57-48 game with 1:34 to go.
Detric Yoder scored to cut the lead to seven, but that was as close as the Blackbirds could get. Miller cashed in on a couple trips to the free throw line to help Archbold claim the 62-52 win.
“That was a really good game for us to have,” added Krauss. “I knew there would be a lot of energy in the gym tonight and there was.”
Williams led the Blue Streaks with 16 points in the win. Wiemken added 13 points and Bedsole added 12. Yoder and Jacoby each led Pettisville with 15 points. King added 10.
Archbold finished 21 of 52 from the floor while Pettisville made 21 of 44 shots. The Streaks were 14 of 26 at the line while Pettisville made 7 of 13. Archbold committed eight turnovers to 15 for the Blackbirds.
On Saturday, Archbold fell at Ottawa-Glandorf 70-65. They will host Eastwood Friday night.
Pettisville welcomes Ottawa Hills Friday and is at Delta on Saturday.
Reach Randy Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org