Pettisville clamps down on Fayette, 42-33

By Joe Blystone - For the Expositor

Ohio State wishes they could take care of the ball and defend as well against Michigan as Pettisville did versus Fayette.

On the same day the Buckeyes got gashed, the Blackbirds harassed the Eagles into 23 percent shooting in the first half, committed just one turnover in the first 16 minutes, and never trailed in a 42-33 win on the road in boys basketball.

The Blackbirds are now 1-1 after a 44-37 loss against Delta the night before.

“You are always going to get that with Pettisville-Fayette,” Blackbird coach Brian Leppelmeier said of the ‘in your face’ defense all night. “Every game up here is like a cookie cutter, it’s the same thing over and over with kids getting after it.

“That was a point of emphasis after our game with Delta,” the veteran coach added of the turnover number. “We had 14 turnovers and a 27 percent turnover rate the night before so that was an emphasis. With the pressure they put on, especially in the second half, I think we took care of the basketball pretty well.”

Joey Ripke’s deep top of the key triple and stickback gave the Birds an early 6-2 lead.

Kaden Frenn scored on a putback of his own and a right corner three-ball to get Fayette back to a 9-8 deficit after one.

Ripke’s right-side triple put the Birds back up four and again Fayette shaved the margin to a point when Demetrius Whiteside scored off the glass and Chase Moats split two free throws with 4:51 left in the half.

However, the Eagles never scored again and Pettisville finished on a 6-0 mini run keyed by second chance points from Sean Adkins and Caden Jacoby to take a seven point lead into the locker room.

Skylar Lester’s 3-pointer broke a seven minute scoring drought but Pettisville came back with a 10-0 burst.

Jack Leppelmeier started and finished the run with three-pointers, Adkins went 2-2 from the foul line, and Jacoby hittting on a post move in between for a 30-14 lead with 2:20 to go in the third.

It was then the Eagles came back with 10 straight as Wyatt Mitchell got to the glass, Dylan New tripled and Lester forced a jumper with 1.8 seconds left to finish the third and chop the Pettisville lead to 32-23.

Mitchell’s three-point play 18 seconds into the fourth got Fayette back to 32-26, but Leppelmeier’s up-and-under move then four straight from the line from Jaret Beck and Ripke kept the Blackbirds in control the rest of the way.

“Again it’s always the same,” Coach Leppelmeier said of the back and forth runs. “We make a run, they make a run, they hit big shots to get back in it and they are going to play pressure defense. So I thought our guys did enough to get the job done.”

Pettisville committed just three turnovers on the night.

Fayette lost the battle on the boards, 30-17, as Pettisville scored five times on putbacks.

“I thought our guys did a good job getting inside looks,” explained Coach Leppelmeier. “We didn’t finished them all the time, but we gots our hands on the basketball and we got some putbacks. We knocked down free throws when we needed them to in the second half.”

Ripke had 12 points and Leppelmeier 10 to pace Pettisville.

Mitchell had 12 for Fayette.

By Joe Blystone

For the Expositor