Roughriders, Tigers, Wildcats seek to move on

Three area teams are seeking a trip to the Division III district final Saturday.
Kelsey Pence
Mar 7, 2013

Huron worked out all of its kinks in the first half of the season and has been on a roll in  2013.

The Tigers enter Thursday's matchup with just one loss, Norwalk, Feb. 16, during this calendar year.

The streak helped them earn a share of the Sandusky Bay Conference and has heightened their post season tournament hopes.

Huron (18-5) will face New London (20-3) in the second game of Thursday's Division III district semifinal at Willard.

“We will just see how it goes,” Huron coach Bobby James said. “We are confident and I think we match up pretty well with them.

 “I think we definitely have a chance to win and I think if we play the way we are capable of playing it will be a real good game.”

The Wildcats have standout Dane Held, who scored his 1,000th point on Feb. 15 and was named District 6 Player of the Year.
 
“They are really athletic and have some real nice shooters,” James said. “We can’t let their shooters go off. Can’t let them get hot. We need to make sure they take contested jump shots.”

The Tigers have a strong inside game and the size to compete with the Wildcats.

“We have to really work our inside game on them,” James said. “I don’t think they have the size we do. So on our end we have to work the inside game a little bit and on their end we really have to make sure we get a hand in the shooters face.”

On paper, New London looks to have an edge over Huron but James said anything can happen in the postseason.

“If we knock down shots we are pretty good and we are pretty athletic,” he said. “If we knock down shots consistently I think we are a tough matchup.”

Meanwhile, playing in the first game of the night is Western Reserve (18-5) which will take on Ontario (20-4).

The Roughriders will also face an all-district player in Cameron Mack.

“They are led by a very good post player,” ‘Riders coach Chris Sheldon said. “(Mack) can really score in the paint off post moves and he is very good off the dribble.”

Sheldon said his team is well balanced.

The Roughriders have five players that have scored more than 150 points this season.

“We have seven guys that have led us in scoring throughout the year,” Sheldon said.

“When we are aggressive and we share the basketball we are a pretty hard team to guard offensively. We have tremendous balance at the offensive end.

“Our guys in the low post are being aggressive. When we are aggressive offensively and defensively we play at a higher level on both ends of the floor.”

The biggest key in tonight’s game will be stopping Ontario’s shooters.

“We have to be able to control their penetration and get to their shooters,” Sheldon said. “We have to be able to rebound the basketball. Stopping their dribble penetration from their three perimeter shooters. They have three really good jump shooters as well. Really hold them to one shot and out.

“There is no such thing as guaranteed, but our goal is to play hard for 32 minutes and try to execute every play. If we do those two things then the result will take care of itself.”