STRYKER – Stryker found a way to battle back from a double-digit deficit once, but they couldn’t do it a second time as the top-ranked team in boys basketball in Division III, Archbold, went into Stryker and left with a 59-47 win over the Panthers Tuesday night.
The Panthers fought their way back within 44-40 in the early stages of the fourth stanza, but as they have done all season, the Streaks battled back. Archbold immediately went on an 8-0 run to push the lead to 52-40, and it stayed within that window for the rest of the game.
“These are the kind of games we need to play,” Archbold coach Joe Frank said after the win. “I knew that was going to happen tonight, that’s a really good team. When you play a really good team, they are going to play good.”
The two teams played a very competitive opening half of basketball. Going back-and-forth, Archbold took an 18-14 lead at the end of the opening period, and it stayed at four points, 27-23, at halftime.
“We don’t mind that,” the Archbold boss said of the pace the first half was played at. “That’s not an issue. We just have to clean some things up. I thought there was times we were a little sloppy with our ball handling.”
Chase Glock did his part to keep Stryker in the game. He had 12 points at the half for the Panthers, then didn’t score again until a three-pointer late in the final period.
“Chase Glock played well in the first half,” said Frank. “We didn’t give him a lot of good looks in the second half. We did a good job of not letting him get as many touches.”
Austin Wiemken led the Streaks on offense again. Scoring from all spots on the floor, he led everybody with 24 points.
“He’s playing with a lot of confidence now,” lauded Frank. “He’s one guy who does not try to do things he’s not capable of doing, not that the other guys always do. Austin just takes what they give him. He’s been mister consistent so far.”
Elijah Zimmerman added 13 points and Jeron Williams chipped in 10.
Archbold (15-0) hosts Liberty Center (4-8) tomorrow and Tinora (7-9) on Saturday.
Reach Randy Roberts at email@example.com