COLUMBUS – It wasn’t the best showing for the Archbold offense. In fact, it was the worst. Playing in front of 9,396 fans in a Division III state semifinal, the Blue Streaks started 1 of 11 from the floor with six turnovers, falling behind 9-0 in a loss to St. Bernard Roger Bacon 68-43 in a boys basketball game at Value City Arena Friday afternoon.
“The worse fear we had came true,” said Archbold coach Doug Krauss, who guided a Blue Streak basketball team to Columbus for the fifth time. “We went into the game thinking we had to make some shots to do well, then we came out and shot like we did out from the get-go.
“A lot of that was the setting,” added Krauss, “and a lot of that was their defense, athleticism and quickness. They made it tough for us all night long.”
The Streaks, who made more three-point shots (10) than two-point shots (3), also allowed 25 points off turnovers and never got untracked against the team that lost the title 54-52 to Cleveland Villa-Angela St. Joseph’s.
“The frustrating part is that we’re a better squad than that,” mentioned Krauss. “We just didn’t follow what we wanted to do defensively.”
Down 14-5 after one period and 35-16 at the half, Archbold did put some offense together in the third period. Rigo Ramos and Kaiden Bedsole put together back-to-back triples to make the score 40-22, however, that was it for the Archbold offense for the next four minutes.
In that time, Roger Bacon put the game away with a 13-0 run. Craig McGee opened the run with two buckets, then James Johnson turned a steal into a three-point play. Justin Johnson, who came off the bench to tally 15 points in 12 minutes of action, finished the run by scoring the final six points, with four coming on a couple of rim-rattlers.
“When your shots don’t fall, you have to rely on your defense to keep you hanging (in the game),” added Krauss. “I think we took a little pity on ourselves. We were trying to get those shots to fall and we didn’t carry our intensity to get back defensively.”
Alec Pfriem added seven points in an 11-0 run in the final moments of the third and the start of the fourth quarter that pushed the lead to 64-24 with 5:10 left to play. With the game out of reach, both benches saw action late. Jeron Williams sank a pair of treys for the Streaks, while Mitch Grosjean added a triple and Austin Wiemken converted a three-point play.
Before the game, Archbold lost the services of senior Austin Welch, who went down with a knee injury during the warm-ups.
“Austin is one guy that doesn’t get a lot of ink for us, and he’s not the biggest dude in there, but you know what, he’s going to give you toughness,” Krauss said of Welch. “He’s a glue guy. Every team needs glue guys.”
Bryce Williams tallied 11 points and six rebounds to lead Archbold.
Reach Randy Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org