PEMBERVILLE — Archbold junior Cade Brenner scored 27 points as the visiting Blue Streaks held off Eastwood Tuesday, 62-59.
Archbold never trailed after the first three minutes of the game but had to hold off a late Eastwood comeback attempt to improve to 5-3 on the season. The Eagles fall to 5-3, but they made the game interesting down the stretch.
On a dish from senior forward Brady Weaver, Eastwood junior forward Andrew Badenhop hit a triple with 26 seconds remaining to bring the Eagles to within one, 60-59.
However, Eastwood began pressing with hopes to force a turnover, but the Eagles resorted to fouling Brenner, who made both ends of a one-and-one with 17.8 seconds on the clock.
Brenner scored 12 points in the fourth quarter alone, including hitting two treys and going 6-for-6 from the charity stripe.
A last second three-point attempt by Eastwood senior guard Case Boos fell short as the Blue Streaks celebrated. Boos led Eastwood with 21 points.
“It’s a big win,” Archbold coach Joe Frank said. “That is a pretty good team, and our kids came in here and played the game the way we hoped we play.
“We made big plays down the stretch, and we didn’t get a lot of stops but we got a big one there at the end.”
Archbold had lost tough non-conference games to Wauseon, Kalida, and Ottawa-Glandorf, so downing the Eagles was one to celebrate.
“After O-G (74-40 last Thursday), it was a bad loss,” Brenner said. “We didn’t play well at all. And, for us to come back was huge.
“We really put in the work Monday and the last practice before that, so to come in here, an away game against a tough team, it is a step in the right direction.”
The Streaks have only one senior, Alex Roth, and he is out for the season, so they managed to defeat the Eagles with a lineup consisting of entirely underclassmen.
“Whatever we do this year it is going to be a stepping-stone for next year,” Brenner said. “We don’t have Alex and he’s a great player, but unfortunately, he’s out with sickness. We’re doing this all for him and it means a lot.”
Frank added, “It bodes well for next year. The one senior is unfortunately out for the season and he’s a four-year letterwinner, so the other guys are stepping up and we are hoping for the best.”
Archbold junior Jayden Seiler scored 18 points, sophomore Sonny Phillips scored nine, junior Chase Miller scored six points and sophomore Micah Nofziger added two points.
Miller also had seven rebounds as the Streaks held a slim 26-25 advantage on the glass, and the Streaks committed just seven turnovers to Eastwood’s 11.
Archbold shot 49% (23-for-47) from the floor and was 8-for-13 from the line. The Eagles shot 51% (22-for-43) from the field and made 9-of-13 free throws.
In the first quarter, Brenner hit two buckets within the final minute, including a 12-footer at the buzzer, to push the Streaks ahead, 22-14, which forced the Eagles to give chase the rest of the way.
“We talked about what we needed to do going into the game and we didn’t execute that defensively in the first quarter,” Eastwood coach Jason Faykosh said. “We’re too good of a defensive team to give up that many points.”
The Streaks expanded the lead to 13 points midway through the third quarter and were up seven, 44-37, entering the final stanza.
However, Eastwood senior forward Brady Weaver scored on the Eagles’ first two possessions of the fourth quarter to close the gap to three, 44-41.
“I love the way we battled back. We battled,” Faykosh said. “I love the way we played down the stretch.
“No. 2 (Brenner) hit some real tough ones to end the game for them and they made their free throws while we continued to struggle at the free throw line. That was the difference for us.”
For the Eagles, Weaver had 13 points and six rebounds, senior guard Noah Smith had 12 points and five boards, and Badenhop scored seven points.