A 12-0 run down the stretch of the third quarter gave Archbold the cushion they needed for a 43-27 home win against Bryan in Northwest Ohio Athletic League boys basketball Friday.
The next night, also on their home floor, the Blue Streaks held off state ranked Toledo Christian 46-42.
Versus the Golden Bears, the Streaks pulled away after Connor Arthur’s bucket off a Bryan steal got them within 21-20 44 seconds into the third period.
Archbold’s Trey Theobald scored down low 24 seconds later, DJ Newman buried a triple, Ethan Hagans hit a fadeaway jumper and Alex Roth got the roll on a layup to increase the lead to 30-20 and force a Golden Bear timeout.
However, the stoppage did them no good as an Elijah Zimmerman three extended the margin to 13 at the quarter break.
“After the first possession of the third quarter, we started to go more in attack mode,” said Blue Streak mentor Joe Frank. “We got good ball movement. We started getting into the interior of their defense. And when you do that, they have to cave in, then we can kick it out for open looks. So the key is, not just passing around the perimeter and hoping you pass it faster than they rotate, because they’re too long to do that. So we finally got into the interior of their defense, and got some decent penetration and then kick-outs. From then on we just got a little bit more confident and a little bit more aggressive.”
The Streaks maintained a double digit lead throughout the entirety of the fourth quarter.
Leading them in scoring was Newman with 11 points on three made triples. Zimmerman added nine and Hagans eight.
Frank hopes this is a sign of more good things to come out of Newman.
“He’s one of the few guys I’ve ever coached that we have to yell at to shoot. Normally it’s the other way around,” said the Archbold coach. “If he had as much confidence in himself as we did in him, he would be really, really dynamic. Not that he’s not now, and that’s gonna come. He’s still a sophomore, he’s still feeling his way through a few things. He’s got the ability to do it, we know he does. It’s just tough to see him not want to be aggressive when I know what he’s capable of doing. But, this hopefully will be a springboard for him. To get a little bit more confidence and to start being a little bit more aggressive on the offensive end.”
Bryan gained an 11-10 lead at the end of the first quarter on two Titus Rohrer free throws, then went up by three at the start of the second on a Austin Dean basket at the 6:28 mark.
The Streaks reclaimed the lead on Hagans drive and score plus a Noah Cheney three. The two squads then exchanged triples, the latter coming on a trey from Newman, giving Archbold a 18-16 lead with 1:40 before halftime.
Rohrer tied it 12 seconds later with a basket in the paint, but another Newman three put the margin at 21-18 at the half.
The Bears played well despite being without the services of one of their best players, senior Caleb Zuver, who missed the game with a back injury.
“I feel horrible for Caleb Zuver. He has spent so much time working to become the player he has,” said Frank. “I just hope and pray that he can come back soon from that back injury. Those are really tough things to get back from. Fish (Bryan coach Brandon Fisher) does a great job. They played so hard. They were fighting for their league lives out there tonight. And it looked like it. That’s a really good team. They’re gonna win a lot of games. I mean they’re 10-4 I think right now. There is a reason they’ve only lost to Wauseon twice and Defiance heading into tonight.”
Rohrer paced Bryan and all scorers with 13 points.
Archbold (10-4, 3-0 NWOAL) hosts Stryker Tuesday in non-league action.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010