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Published: Wednesday, 12/21/2005

Eagles atop TAAC with 3-0 record

BY JOHN WAGNER
BLADE SPORT WRITER
Ottawa Hills' Andrew Parker, left, and Toledo Christian's 
Andrew Mawer collide last night in TAAC basketball action. Ottawa Hills' Andrew Parker, left, and Toledo Christian's Andrew Mawer collide last night in TAAC basketball action.
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The Toledo Christian boys basketball team used a potent offense to build an early lead, then relied on that offense to withstand a late Ottawa Hills rally as the Eagles posted a 58-47 victory on the Green Bears' home court.

The Eagles shot nearly 50 percent from the field in the first half to open up a 35-22 lead. Ottawa Hills roared back to within five points with 4:26 to play, only to see Toledo Christian make several clutch baskets down the stretch to close out the win.

Tyler Boris had 19 points to lead four double-figure scorers for the Eagles, who sit alone atop the Toledo Area Athletic Conference with a 3-0 mark. Jacob Weemes finished with 16 and Jack Sims and Kyle Bensch each added 10 as TC moved to 5-1 overall.

Andrew Wolff scored a game-high 23 but was the lone double-figure scorer for Ottawa Hills, which falls to 4-1 and 2-1.

"Winning on the road at Ottawa Hills is always a huge win," Toledo Christian coach Dave McWhinnie said. "Ottawa Hills is a big rival for us. We have three wins so far, but it takes 11 or 12 to win the league. We've got a long road ahead."

The Eagles made four 3-pointers to jump to a 16-9 lead after one quarter, with Boris accounting for two of the treys and eight points. The junior made another triple as part of a seven-point second period and Toledo Christian led by 13 at the half.

"We moved the ball pretty well in the first half," McWhinnie said. "Tyler Boris had a big first half - he hit some huge shots. When he starts knocking down 3s, it opens up our offense."

Boris made 6 of 10 shots from the floor in the first half, including 3 of 6 from behind the arc.

"Our big men were setting good screens early to get us open, and we were just running our plays like we always do - just like practice," Boris said.

The Green Bears tightened their defense in the second half, allowing just 11 points in the third quarter.

"I thought they played good defense in the first half, but Ottawa Hills always plays tough defense," McWhinnie said. "They just knocked us off our game. We had a couple of nice runs, but I thought they always had us off rhythm."

The problem for Ottawa Hills in the third was that it made just 6 of 18 from the field and was able to cut Toledo Christian's lead to just 46-34.

"We talked abut improving our rotations and putting more pressure on the ball," Green Bears coach John Lindsay said.

"But the focus of our halftime was our offensive execution. We thought we weren't doing a very good job of executing our offense."

Ottawa Hills made its first four field-goal attempts in the fourth quarter to spark an 11-4 run that made the score 50-45 Toledo Christian with 4:26 left. But the Green Bears missed their final four free-throw attempts, including a pair of one-and-one shots, and came no closer.

"I thought we made a nice run," Lindsay said. "We had an opportunity, but in my opinion we missed some critical free throws that really could have made a difference.

"I thought they did a great job of making that final run, and their shot selection all game was fantastic."

Weemes made back-to-back baskets to give Toledo Christian a nine-point advantage, and a 3-pointer by Bensch off an inbounds play with 2:20 left sealed the win.

"Our kids had a lot of composure down the stretch, and they made some nice plays," McWhinnie said. "Hopefully we're learning how to win games. I was really pleased how we finished off this game."

Contact John Wagner at:

jwagner@theblade.com

or 419-724-6481.



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