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Published: Friday, 2/29/2008

Archbold stops Bears' big man

BY ZACH SILKA
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

NAPOLEON - Archbold hasn't seen a big man like Phillip Beans in quite some time, but the Blue Streaks defended the paint like seasoned pros in a 57-41 win over Ottawa Hills last night in a Division III boys district semifinal game at Napoleon High School.

Archbold limited the Green Bears' 6-foot-7 forward to just eight points in the game, well below his 18.8 points per game scoring average during the regular season.

Beans saw numerous double-

teams every time he touched the ball, and the Green Bears' chances were all but lost when he fouled out with 6:05 remaining in the game.

"Beans is a good player," Archbold coach Doug Krauss said. "He's a big kid. We can't guard Beans with one guy. We have to get a guy in front and back of him and use our quickness. It's a team effort, and I thought we did a pretty good job trying to limit his touches."

Instead it was the Blue Streaks' interior threat, 6-3 senior forward Gene Goering, who paved the way, leading the team with 20 points. Trey Smith added 17 points and Justin Rupp chipped in with 10.

"When you play a guy like [Beans], it definitely gets you jacked up a little more," Goering said. "He's definitely the most skilled post guy we've played so far.

"I've been here before, and it just feels good. I just want to keep winning and advancing, and that's what it's all about."

Archbold now moves on to the district finals here, where it will face Genoa Saturday at 7.

The Comets advanced by virtue of a 63-58 victory over Fairview in the second game of the doubleheader last night for their first trip to the district finals since 1996.

Ottawa Hills fell behind early, hitting just 2 of 9 shots from the field in the first quarter. Archbold was able to capitalize on the Green Bears' chilly start, igniting an 11-0 run that was halted on Brent Abendroth's putback as the buzzer sounded to put the deficit at 14-4 after one quarter.

After J.J. Buckey hit a 3-pointer to start the second quarter, the Blue Streaks went on another surge. This time a 7-0 run gave them a 21-7 lead with 5:10 left in the half and forced Ottawa Hills coach John Lindsay to call a timeout.

The Green Bears went on a 6-0 run coming out of timeout, but still found themselves down 25-19 at the break after another Abendroth putback as time expired.

"We felt pretty fortunate at halftime just to be down by six after our poor start, so we felt pretty confident we could execute in the second half," Lindsay said. "We missed so many easy shots and didn't do enough defensively at the other end."

Ottawa Hills hung around until midway through the third quarter, even cutting the deficit to just six points on Eliot Browarsky's 3-pointer with 3:54 left in the period.

Beans then hit a shot to make the score 33-26 with three minutes remaining in the third, and it would prove to be the Green Bears' final bucket until the fourth quarter. The Blue Streaks ended the stanza on an 11-0 run to take a commanding 44-26 lead.

When Beans committed his fifth personal foul just 1:55 into the fourth quarter, Archbold's advantage proved to be insurmountable. Ottawa Hills would come no closer than 15 the rest of the way.

"We knew they would come after [Beans] and be very physical with him," Lindsay said. "I didn't think we were effective in getting the ball inside, and that's to their credit. They put some pretty good pressure on us."

Abendroth led OH with 12 points, six of them coming in the fourth quarter, and Browarsky had nine.

In the nightcap, Genoa withstood an impassioned comeback from the Apaches when junior guard Ben Wonderly returned to the floor at the start of the fourth quarter.

Wonderly (10 points) had to be carried off the floor with 28 seconds remaining in the first half with an apparent right leg injury, but upon his re-emergence from the locker room, the Fairview fans in attendance erupted.

Still, the emotional boost wasn't enough, as the Comets were a perfect 10-of-10 from the foul line inside 1:35 to play and finished the fourth quarter 13-of-16 at the charity stripe.

"We were 12-of-15 in the sectional finals [last week] against Swanton in the fourth quarter and overtime," Genoa coach Jeff Overmyer said. "Our guys haven't been great free throw shooters during the season, but in clutch situations, these guys just know how to make plays."

The Comets lost in the district semifinals last season to Patrick Henry, but that was before Derrick Vicars joined the team. He led Genoa with 18 points against Fairview, including a 5-of-6 free throw shooting effort in the fourth quarter. Kyle Schimming chipped in with 13 points, and Matt Bassitt had 11.

"We haven't shot free throws this well all year, but lately we have been," Vicars said. "This means a lot because I didn't play basketball last year [at Delta], so to get back on the court and go as far as we have, it's great."

Ross Joost led Fairview with 11 points, along with four blocks. Travis Wiles tallied 10 points.

Contact Zach Silka at:

zsilka@theblade.com.



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