Division II Sectional
Philo 41, Indian Valley 40
COSHOCTON -- The Braves lost a true nail-biter on Wednesday as a pair of free throws with only 1.9 seconds on the clock allowed Philo to knock Indian Valley out of Division II sectional play with a thrilling 41-40 finish at Coshocton High School.
The Electrics pulled out the win when Chase Hambel made both charity tosses, giving Philo a wild come-from-behind win where they trailed by 14 points with only eight minutes remaining in the game.
The Braves looked like they were ready to move on to the next round as they owned a 35-21 lead with one quarter to play. A 20-5 tsunami by the Electrics down the stretch put the game in their pockets.
Indian Valley ruled the entire way except for the very end, taking a 6-2 first quarter lead that stretched to 18-11 by halftime. A 17-10 Brave's advantage in the third period seemingly put the Red and Blue in control. However, Philo used a stifling press in the fourth period that turned the game around. The Electrics also won the battle at the foul line, where they finished 19-for-27 while the Braves could only manage a 5-for-13 showing.
Brett Cox had a strong performance for Indian Valley (2-19) with 17 points and eight rebounds. Bryce Allensworth finished with seven points while Jamie MacAdam and Chase Gibson each tacked on five.
Zak Sheridan scored 10 points to lead Philo (6-15) while Corey Smith had nine.
Andrew Stiles is the only senior on the Brave's squad as the team will return a number of lettermen for next season's campaign.
Division III Sectional
Nc'town 43, SV36
UHRICHSVILLE -- For the first time in at least eight years, the Trojans advanced in sectional tournament play with a 43-36 Division III sectional win over the Sandy Valley Cardinals at Claymont High School on Tuesday.
After a pair of regular season, one-point victories (49-48 and 43-42) over the Cardinals, Newcomerstown recovered from a sluggish start to reel off the final nine points of the initial frame and post a 12-6 lead going to the second round. The Trojans continued a smothering defense, forcing the Cardinals into six opening quarter turnovers, and got five big points from Kristopher Wolf off the bench to run the lead to as many as 12 with two minutes left in the half.
Sandy Valley (4-17) regrouped and scored the final three points of the frame to cut the Newcomerstown margin to 25-16 going to the halftime break.
"We got great bench play tonight," Newcomerstown coach Danny Weekley stated. "Wolf came in and gave us some great minutes. This was a big plus for the program. Any time you get a win we will take it when trying to build a program. When you are trying to take a step and move up in the ranks it helps and the kids earned it."
In the second half, the Trojans went away from what got them the big lead and played more like not to lose, rather than to win.
The Cardinals were not about to give up and outscored Newcomerstown 12-6 the third stanza to cut the difference to just three points heading to the final eight minutes.
"We got a little timid the second half," Weekley admitted. "We respect Sandy Valley and knew they would come out firing. Late in the game we did a better job of getting to the basket and knocked down some free throws. Our goal was to attack the basket with Darian (Arnold) and Bubba (Harris)."
On a pair of free throws by Zach Mozden, Sandy Valley pulled even at 33 and it began to look like this one, like the previous two, would go down to the wire.
Converting a pair of charity tosses, Arnold gave the lead back to the Trojans, but Zach Schlimm buried a three-pointer off the dribble to give the Cardinals their first and only lead of the night (36-35) with 2:34 showing.
Newcomerstown (8-13) then got a huge three-pointer from Paul Matthews at the 2:02 mark and the Trojans reverted back to what had gotten them the lead the opening half, taking the ball to the basket and cashing in at the foul line, which made a big difference in the game.
Sandy Valley was forced to foul and the Trojans converted 5-of-10 down the stretch, while keeping the Cardinals off the board the remainder to post the 43-36 tournament win and move into the top bracket championship game against Inter-Valley Conference foe Garaway.
"This is what we have been shooting for," Weekley said, "a shot at Garaway."
Newcomerstown lost both regular season games to the Pirates dropping a 49-37 decision at home early in the year and falling 63-48 at Sugarcreek a month ago.
"Both games were games going to the fourth quarter when we had to foul because we were behind," Weekley said. "We will give it our best shot and that is all we can do or ask for."
The Trojans hit 13-of-33 field shots for 39.4 percent, but cashed in on 14-of-26 from the foul line. Arnold led the way with 16 points, while Harris added a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds and Wolf finished with seven markers. Harris and Matthews each handed out a pair of the eight assists, while Harris and Eric Rose each grabbed two of the seven steals. Newcomerstown only committed seven turnovers.
Sandy Valley sank 12-of-34 floor shots for 35.3 percent and tacked on 7-of-13 from the charity line. Mozden paced the Cardinals with 12 points with Schlimm close behind with 11, including a trio of treys. The visitors had three assists and three steals while being guilty of 13 miscues.
Rebounds were even at 30 apiece with Harris leading the Trojans on the glass, while Arnold and Wolf each grabbed off five caroms. Mozden paced the Cardinals with nine boards.
The Division III sectional championship game against Garaway is on Thursday, March 3 at 7 p.m. at Claymont High School. A berth in the District Tournament at New Philadelphia High School is on the line.