Patriots Fall Shy In Third Try In Sectional Championship Showdown With Mustangs
The Patriots scored their eight-straight win and third of the season over of West Vigo on Friday in the sectional semifinals, 49-32, setting the stage for an OV-Edgewood championship showdown for the third year in a row Saturday night.
Owen Valley’s 49-32 semi-final win was fueled by a game-high 17 points from sophomore forward Cameron King, who had been shutout in the Patriots’ sectional opener on Tuesday against Brown County. The Vikings came out with purpose as junior forward Hayden Corenflos contributed six of the team’s eight points in the opening quarter, but OV countered with a three from Evan Wood, a basket by Ethan Daffron and King scoring an oldfashioned three-point play to tie the game at 8-8 to closeout the quarter.
The Patriots sizzled in the second, posting 20 points in the quarter while hold the Vikings to just three points to take a 28-12 halftime lead. OV received five more from King, four from Daffron and Nolan King, a pair from Wood and Matt Mahoney and a triple from Ethan Sparks.
“I probably couldn’t count the times we’ve hit a tough, desperation three to end a quarter, I know Wood has three of them himself and Sparks has hit three too, so that gave us a little bit of momentum for sure,” OV head coach Chad Smith said. “It tied the game up and, man, I don’t know how many times we’ve put up over 20 points in the second quarter, but the guys get a feel for what’s going on, we adjust defensively, our defense always sparks our offense and that was really fun to watch in the second quarter.”
West Vigo answered back in the third, but was only able to best the Patriots by a point, 11-10 in the quarter to cut the OV lead to 38-22. OV received four more from Daffron and two apiece from Nolan King, Cam King and Evan Wood in the quarter.
Cam King helped put the Vikings away in the fourth, tallying seven of OV’s 11 closing quarter points. Wood and Sparks each added two to notch the Patriots’ third win of the season over the Vikings. Daffron ended the night with 10 points, followed by Wood with nine, Nolan King six, Sparks five and Mahoney two.
“I thought the unselfishness of Cam and Evan, really looking to find each other around the basket for lay-ups was key,” Smith added. “Once we got the lead, our plan was to sit back in our zone and kind of make them have to take time off of the clock. Overall, it was pretty impressive.”
The Patriots committed just five turnovers on the night, while forcing 15 Viking miscues and sending West Vigo to the line just three times. OV also committed just nine fouls in the game, with no players tallying more than three.
“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t hoping for (an OV-Edgewood championship match-up), nothing against Edgewood, not thinking we have a better chance against them or anything, it’s just more fun,” Smith said after the win.
The Patriots’ return to the title game looked promising from the opening tip, as the Mustangs entered Saturday night without starting senior point guard Tommy Black, who tallied 10 points for Edgewood in a 54-52 semifinal win over Northview on Friday night.
The arch rivals battle point for point through the first quarter and despite finding themselves down early, OV managed to pull ahead to end the quarter with an Evan Wood buzzer-beating three to enter the second up 11-9.
The Mustangs, though, weren’t down for long, answering with a 14-8 second quarter to enter the half up 23-19 as Clayton Settles added a three to his seven first quarter points and Edgewood received 11 of its 14 points from the Mustang bench. OV stayed close with a pair of treys from Sparks and a bucket from King.
The second half provided a dismal shooting performance for both squads as they combined for just 14 third quarter points, but OV was able to outscore the Mustangs 9-5 to tie the game at 28-28 entering the final eight minutes of play. Eight of the Patriots’ third quarter points came from King, while Wood knocked down one of two free throws.
The Patriots were able to knock down just one field goal in the second, when King broke a five-minute stalemate with a lay-up to give OV a 30-28 lead. Edgewood answered on the ensuing possession to tie things again before an OV turnover led to another Mustang basket and the momentum shifted to the threetime defending sectional champions. Nolan King and Mahoney found their way to the line, where King was able to knock down the front end of a one-and-one for just his second point of the night.
“I’m disappointed, obviously for the kids who worked extremely hard this year and had great attitudes. They were very coachable; I’m just very upset they weren’t able to finish it out by cutting down some nets,” Smith said. “It was an extremely successful season, but at this point in time, it’s hard to feel good about the success we had due to not being able to finish it out the way we wanted, and that’s the way it’s always going to be. The season’s always going to end when you don’t want it to, unless you don’t win a state championship. I’m really proud of the season we’ve had and I’m really proud of the seniors and what they’ve meant to the program, I just hope in the future that it can go our way. “
Cam King led OV with 12, while Sparks ended the game with nine points, followed by six from Wood and two each from Nolan King and Daffron.
Against the Mustangs, OV committed 14 turnovers, while forcing 11 and received zero scoring off of the bench. Edgewood, meanwhile, benefited from 19 bench points, including 12 from sophomore Brayden Patton.
OV shot just 30 percent (11- for-36) from the field and 38 percent from three-point line (5-for- 13), but out-rebounded Edgewood 24-21.
The Patriots closeout the 2013-2014 campaign with a 16-9 mark and an unblemished Western Indiana Conference championship season (8-0), saying goodbye to six seniors – Nolan King, Ethan Sparks, Matt Mahoney, Dillan Hege, Brendon Mahoney and Noah Woodruff. OV will have three starters returning in 2014- 2015 in Evan Wood, Cam King and Ethan Daffron, along with reserves Matt Campbell, Devon Shouse and Austin Boyd with varsity experience. Smith ends his fourth season with a career record of 43-52.
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