Grove Controls Fourth Quarter, Wins by 6
By Sam Brauen Friday, January 25, 2019 10:54:47 PM
(BLUFFTON) - Bluffton’s boys basketball needed to down Columbus Grove to stay in the immediate hunt for the Northwest Conference championship. The Bulldogs were able to control the fourth quarter and earned a 49-43 victory to remain undefeated in league play. Bluffton slipped to 3-2 in NWC games and 11-4 overall.
Keys to the Game
The Pirates struggled to get a stop in the fourth quarter. Columbus Grove scored or got to the free throw line on all but one fourth quarter possessions. Bluffton twice got the deficit down to four points in the final eight minutes but could not get the stop needed. After a Luke Denecker free throw cut the lead to four points, the visitors were able to milk the clock down from 3:04 to 1:17 before Bluffton got the ball back.
A fun 13-13 first quarter couldn’t keep pace for the remainder of the game for either team. Bluffton scored just 8 points in each of the middle two quarters and Grove built a 35-29 lead after three quarters. An 8-0 run to end the half propelled Grove from a four point deficit to a four point advantage, one Bluffton never recovered from.
Bluffton was ice cold from long distance, making just 3/16 attempts. Meanwhile, inside the arc, Bluffton sizzled making 16 of 22 attempts.
Both teams cared for the ball with Bluffton turning it over 7 times and Grove just twice for the game.
Jared Piercefield led the team in scoring but also shot extremely well. The junior connected on 5/7 two point field goals and 2/4 three pointers. Luke Denecker added 14 points on 6/6 shooting inside the arc. The junior sharpshooter was not able to land a three pointer in the game.
Individual Pirate Statistics
Jared Piercefield - 16 points, two 3s, 2 rebounds
Luke Denecker - 14 points, 6/6 on 2s, 3 rebounds
Baylor Garmatter - 7 points, 4 rebounds
Mason Soper - 4 points, team high 9 rebounds, 1 block
McCormick Ault - 2 points, 2 rebounds
2FG -16/22 (73%)
3FG - 3/16 (19%)
Total FG - 19/48 (40%)
Free Throws - 2/6 (33%)
2FG - 14/23 (61%)
3FG - 8/15 (53%)
Total FG - 22/38 (58%)
Free Throws - 6/12 (50%)
Bluffton hosts McComb Tuesday night in a makeup game from early December.