Boys Come Back for Opening Win

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Kaleb Jefferson (by Troy Breidenbach)

Kaleb Jefferson (by Troy Breidenbach)

(BLUFFTON) - For three quarters the Bluffton Boys Basketball team had tough sledding on offense, getting decent looks but shots would not fall.  In the fourth, BHS started converting and came back for a thrilling 41-37 victory over Leipsic to open the 2017-18 season. Kaleb Jefferson led Bluffton with 16 points. 

The Pirates trailer 33-22 with two minutes left in the third quarter but exploded for the game’s next 15 points to take a 37-33 lead with 2:15 left in the game.  The Pirates hit just two 3 pointers in the game and the second one was a deep shot from Luke Denecker that cut trimmed Leipsic’s lead to 33-31.  Jefferson tied the game with a layup on the next trip and Dakota Bricker put Bluffton ahead on a jumper and the Pirates were able to hold off the much taller Vikings. Bricker ended up icing the game at the free throw line making both ends of a one and one opportunity to push the lead to 41-37 with just five seconds left. 

Also aiding the Pirate victory was a stalwart defensive effort, especially in the second and fourth quarters.  Leipsic scored just three points in the second and the Pirate defense limited the visitors to four points in the final stanza.  The Pirates played mostly zone against the Vikings who had post players standing 6’8, 6’5 and 6’4.  The zone allowed BHS to collapse inside. Leipsic was not able to take advantage of the routinely open outside shots making just two 3’s on the night. Bluffton trailed 12-8 after one quarter and 20-15 at the half.  Bluffton was also ice cold from long distance going 0-11 on 3’s in the first half.

Kaleb Jefferson scored 16 points to lead Bluffton.  Luke Denecker scored 7 points before exiting the game after tweaking a knee injury.  Dakota Bricker also scored seven.  Mason Soper and Mason Ault each scored four and Cole Fruchey provided energy and an outside threat off the bench.  The senior scored three points.  

Leipsic was led by Tyler Gillespie with 12 points.  

Bluffton is 1-0 and will take on Lima Bath next Friday at home.  

Troy Breidenbach Photos : https://piratephotos.smugmug.com/Sports/Boys-Sports/2018-Boys-Bball-Leipsic

Marvin Foster Photos : http://www.usedcoffeebeans.com/Sports/Bluffton-Basketball-Boys/Boys-Basketball/2017-2018/171201-Leipsic

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