Balanced Pirates Return to Winning Ways


Jared Piercefield (by Marvin Foster

Jared Piercefield (by Marvin Foster

(BLUFFTON) - The Pirate boys basketball team needed a win to refresh the season and they earned a run away victory over Fort Jennings Saturday night by a season 56-31 count.  The win snapped a three game losing skid for Bluffton and improved the Pirates’ record to 9-3 on the year.  Fort Jennings dropped to 2-10 with the loss. 

Junior Luke Denecker had another stellar game, scoring a game high 22 points.  Classmate Mason Soper scored 14 and grabbed six rebounds.  Jared Piercefield, another member of the Class of 2020, added further balance with 12 points and 5 steals. 

A sluggish start by the home squad led to some uneasiness in Pirate gymnasium through the first quarter.  Trailing 14-4 with less than a minute left in the opening stanza, Soper connected on a three pointer and Denecker was fouled shooting a ‘3’ at the buzzer.  He made two of three shots to bring the Pirates within 14-9.  After that point, it was all Pirates.  The hosts outscored FJ 38-9 over the middle two quarters to setup the massive final score discrepancy. 

A 17-2 Pirate run turned a five point deficit into a 29-19 lead for Bluffton in the second quarter.  Soper scored 8 points in the run including back to back three pointers, Denecker had 7 and Piercefield 2.  The Pirates implemented a 1-2-2 half court press that gave Jennings fits.  The visitors turned the ball over six times in the second quarter alone leading to many easy buckets. 

The third quarter saw more of the same as Bluffton forced 7 turnovers and ended the quart on a 17-0 run.  Denecker hit two three pointers in a span of 30 seconds on his way to 8 points in the quarter.  Piercefield added 4 points, Soper 3 and Baylor Garmatter dropped a layup in as well during the run. Piercefield scored to stretch the lead out to 50-23 early in the fourth quarter and the rout was on. Reserve players Andrew Lovett, Jonathan Schriner, Alec Deardorff, Eli Lemley and Nic Essinger closed out the game for Bluffton. 

Individual Pirate Statistics

Luke Denecker - 22 points, 4 threes, 5 rebounds

Mason Soper - 14 points, 2 threes, 6 rebounds

Jared Piercefield - 12 points, 2,2 free throws, 3 rebounds, 5 steals

Andrew Lovett - 3 points, 1 three

Baylor Garmatter - 2 points, 4 rebounds

Levi Hohenbrink - 2 points, 1 rebound

Mickey Ault - 1 point, 3 rebounds

Team Statistics


2FG - 14/31 (45%)

3FG - 7/20 (35%)

Total FG - 21/51 (41%)

Free Throws 7/10 (70%)

Rebounds 27

Turnovers 7

Fort Jennings

2FG - 9/21 (43%)

3FG - 4/23 (17%)

Total FG - 13/44 (30%)

Free Throws 1/6 (16%)

Rebounds 23

Turnovers 18

What’s Next

After playing four games in eight days, the Pirates will rest up for a few before traveling to Spencerville Friday evening.  Spencerville is 1-9 and coming off a 56-38 loss to Columbus Grove in their most recent game. 

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