ST. MARYS, OH – Two Allen County rivals met on the hardwood in Auglaize County on Saturday afternoon when NWC rivals Spencerville and Delphos Jefferson took the court against one another, and the result was the same as it had been in the earlier meeting as the Bearcats pulled out a 63-57 victory over their foes from Delphos.
Delphos Jefferson was led by Senior guard and perennial All-NWC 1st team selection Jace Stockwell who pumped in a game high 27 points but saw his team fall short in their bid to force an early exit for the NWC Champions. Just a few days prior to this matchup inside Murotech Court at St. Marys HS the outgoing Wildcat tossed in a career high 29 points in a semifinals victory over Lima Central Catholic to earn his squad an opportunity to cut down the Roughriders nets.
Four players for Spencerville finished in double figures in the game led by the Northwest Conference player of the year Dakota Prichard who scored 12 of his team high 17 points in the first half as he helped give the designated home squad a 31-27 lead after the first two quarters.
Before being forced to exit late in the contest when he picked up his fifth foul, 6’2 Bearcat Junior Daniel Corso provided his team a spark in the opening minutes as he used his teams focused defensive attack to score on a pair of layups and a three pointer that would mark his only points of the contest.
Three Jefferson players (Stockwell, Drew Reiss, Tyler Bratton) hit from deep behind the arc in the opening eight minutes of the ballgame to keep the Jeffcats close but Delphos found themselves behind 1 at 15-14 at the first stoppage.
Alex Rode joined the Wildcats three point brigade in the second quarter as he connected on a triple try but as he had done just a few days prior it was once again Stockwell who took over and accounted for eight of his 12 first half markers to keep his team afloat when they struggled at times offensively against the Bearcats.
If the first half was a story about how many three pointers Delphos Jefferson could hit then the third quarter was a story about just how many Spencerville’s Gary Schrolucke could hit as the Bearcat Senior connected on three in a span of just two minutes and nearly hit a fourth that rolled back out. With Schrolucke and their offense hitting on most cylinders the Bearcats pushed their lead to 45-40 heading to the final stanza.
Talk to any coach about what is important and wins games and there is a good chance they will tell you defense and free throws, and that was the case on Saturday as the Bearcats connected on every one of their nine attempts in the fourth quarter while the Wildcats hit on just one of their three shots from the line.
Spencerville was led in scoring in the fourth quarter by Bailey Croft who tossed in nine of his 14 on the afternoon in the period but it was the rebounding by his brother Griffen (10 points/10 rebounds) that helped to keep possessions alive and ultimately help give Spencerville the Sectional Title and opportunity to move on.
Delphos sees their season come to an end under alumnus and first year Head Coach Jordan Jettinghoff at 12-12 while the Bearcats (18-5) will move on to play in the District Semifinals at Lima Senior High School on Thursday, March 9th at 6:15pm against a team they were victorious against in the regular season in the Marion Local Flyers.
Daniel Corso 7
Gary Schrolucke 13
Dakota Prichard 17
Bailey Croft 14
Griffen Croft 10
Ben Dues 2
3PT: 7/17 (Schrolucke 3, Prichard 3, Corso)
REB: 25 (G. Croft 10)
AST: 14 (Prichard 5)
Jace Stockwell 27
Drew Reiss 5
Tyler Bratton 6
Alex Rode 17
Davion Tyson 2
3PT: 6/17 (Stockwell 2, Bratton 2, Reiss, Rode)
REB: 17 (Rode 6)
AST: 7 (Stockwell 3)