FINDLAY - The Perrysburg boys basketball team had a lot of things it wanted to prove in its Division I sectional final against Bowling Green last night.
"We wanted to come out here and prove that we belonged here," senior Thomas Salmon said. "And after that loss to Southview, we wanted to prove that we are still a good team."
There was plenty of proof that those were two true statements in the Yellow Jackets' 71-38 victory over BG at Liberty-Benton High School last night.
Perrysburg forced a young Bobcat team to make 21 turnovers that led to numerous easy baskets, while the Jackets' offense connected on 55.6 percent of their shots from the field after the first quarter to outscore BG 62-28 in that span.
As a result Perrysburg, now
20-1 on the season, will face Findlay in the district semifinal at Liberty-Benton at 7 p.m. Thursday. The Trojans advanced thanks to a 58-49 win over Anthony Wayne in the first game of the night.
The Jackets started slowly, committing six first-quarter turnovers and trailing 10-9. But Perrysburg scored on six of its first seven possessions of the second quarter and led 26-21 at the break.
"I thought we got more movement ,and we were more aggressive," Perrysburg coach Dave Boyce said of his team's offensive improvement in the second quarter. "We were on our heels [in the first quarter] waiting for things to happen instead of making things happen."
In the third quarter the Yellow Jackets accelerated, outscoring the Bobcats 19-2 in the first
4:30 of the quarter. The key was a trapping defense that forced seven turnovers in that quarter and forced BG into 4-for-11 from the field.
"When we started to turn the ball over in the second half, it was Katie bar the door," Bowling Green coach Von Graffin said. "No matter what we did to try and come back, they were able to handle it.
"Kids are used to playing against someone who's guarding them. They guard areas so well [with their zone], we couldn't find open guys. We got a lot of nice shots in the first half, but we needed to make those shots."
The Bobcats were able to limit Perrysburg's leading scorer, Neal Linthicum, to just seven points.
"We did a great job of taking away [David] Hieber and Linthicum," Graffin said. "But [David] Boyce hit some shots, Salmon hit some shots, and they got some other things going."
Salmon finished with team-highs of 15 points and seven rebounds. Hieber had 14 while David Boyce and Charlie Hughes added 12 and 10, respectively.
In the first game of the night Findlay used a trapping defense to force seven Anthony Wayne turnovers in the first quarter, and the Generals found themselves trailing 10-2 at one point before cutting the deficit to 10-6 at the quarter.
In the second period the Trojans outscored AW over the final four minutes to take a 23-14 lead at the half.
"We knew it was coming, but taking care of the basketball has been a problem for us in the second half of the season," Generals coach Scott Riley said. "We didn't make good decisions. Our problem was we didn't knock down outside shots earlier, because when that happens it becomes easy for a defense to collapse on the post.
"But I thought our kids did a good job of battling back in the second half."
Anthony Wayne started punching the ball inside to Kyle Jazwiecki in the third period, and the 6-7 senior scored seven points in the final 3:08 of the quarter to help the Generals cut the deficit to 29-24.
"We tried to get bodies around [Jazwiecki], but he's a really good player," Findlay coach Jim Rucki said. "He was able to muscle his way in there a couple of times and get the job done."
Jazwiecki hit the first basket of the fourth quarter, but a 3-pointer by Findlay's Garrett Bugay ignited a 9-2 by the Trojan run over the next three minutes, and Anthony Wayne came no closer than seven the rest of the way.
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