GIBSONBURG — With less than two minutes to play in the third quarter of their showdown with first-place Ottawa Hills on Tuesday night, Gibsonburg seemed poised for an opportunity to close the gap in the Toledo Area Athletic Conference boys basketball standings.
But that’s when everything came undone for Gibsonburg. During the next five minutes, the Green Bears pulled away to a 72-52 victory with a game-breaking 22-2 run.
PHOTO GALLERY: Ottawa Hills defeats Gibsonburg
Behind a career-high 30 points from 6-foot-7 senior Geoff Beans, Ottawa Hills, Ohio’s fifth-ranked Division IV team, moved to 12-1 overall and 8-0 in the TAAC.
“We stayed poised,” Beans said. “We were doing the same thing — getting the ball down low — but in the first half, they were digging down and we were forcing it up quickly, and maybe throwing it up weak.
“We needed to gather ourselves, get low, and just be strong with the ball. We were doing that in the second half, and we were making our free throws. That was a big-time win for us.”
Beans hit a milestone with 2 minutes, 45 seconds left in the first quarter when his 3-pointer gave Ottawa Hills a 15-8 lead. It took him to 1,001 points in his career, and he didn’t stop there, adding 25 more points and seven rebounds.
“That was my career high, but when I hit that [1,000th point], I was thinking I just want to get a win tonight,” Beans said. “That wouldn’t have meant anything if we didn’t win.”
When the final horn sounded, Gibsonburg (12-3, 6-3) had been done in by the Green Bears’ size, as 6-9 senior center R.J. Coil added 20 points and a game-high 12 rebounds, and 6-7 senior backup forward Ellis Cummings added six points and 10 boards.
But it took almost three quarter for that Ottawa Hills advantage to play out.
Down 21-10 early in the second quarter after a Beans 3-pointer, Gibsonburg eventually turned the tide with its own long-range shooting. The Golden Bears connected on three 3-pointers in the final 6:48 of the half. The last — from Bryce Ernsthausen (10 points) — trimmed Ottawa Hills’ halftime lead to 27-26.
Gibsonburg pulled even three times early in the third quarter before taking its only lead of the second half, 35-34 on a 3 from Andrew Cantrell (nine points).
Beans answered with a three-point play 15 second later, and the Green Bears never trailed again.
Derek Angelone’s 3 got the Golden Bears within 41-40 with 1:55 left in the third, but that’s when Gibsonburg’s downfall began.
Coil’s three-point play put OH ahead 44-40 with 1:42 left in the third, and that was the start of the 22-2 surge, which was capped on two Beans free throws for a 63-42 lead with 4:12 left.
Where we went right was offensive execution,” Ottawa Hills coach John Lindsay said. “We just tried to keep it simple and go where our strength was, which was inside. Our focus on every possession was to value the ball, and I thought we did a terrific job of executing during that run.”
Gibsonburg hit just one of its 14 shots during the Green Bears’ pivotal surge.
“We put them to the line a lot, and then we had cold shooting at the same time. We’re shooting 55 percent for the year as a team, so it’s a credit to them.”
Ottawa Hills was 24 of 43 (56 percent) from the field, including 8 for 13 on 3-pointers, and was 16 of 24 from the foul line. The Green Bears outrebounded Gibsonburg 38-21.
The Golden Bears, were led by 13 from Jordan Kreglow, shot 18 of 52 (35 percent) from the field, including 7 for 20 on 3-pointers. They were 9 of 12 from the line, and committed seven turnovers while forcing 14.