FINDLAY - Held without a field goal for the first three quarters, David Hieber sure picked a great time to knock down a shot for Perrysburg against Findlay in a boys sectional final Friday night at Liberty-Benton.
The 6-7 senior guard came off a screen at the top of the arc and buried a 3-pointer with 6:08 remaining to give the Yellow Jackets a 36-33 lead.
And it was one they would not relinquish as they closed out a 49-44 victory over the Trojans.
"I got an open look, and that sparked me," Hieber said, who finished with 15 points and had 14 in the final period.
"Shooters shoot. I missed a couple bad shots at the beginning because of the amazing defense, but I kept getting open looks so I shot them."
In the first game of the doubleheader at Liberty-Benton, Jermonte Healey scored 21 points and Anton Hutchins added 18 as Lima Senior rolled past Bowling Green 63-56.
Charlie Hughes led the Yellow Jackets with 19 points and kept his team in the game while Hieber struggled early, totaling 13 points in the first half mostly on looks underneath the basket.
"He did a great job," Hieber said of Hughes.
"When he's in the paint, he's hard to stop."
Down 33-31 at the start of the third quarter, Perrysburg tied the game 1:10 into the period on Brian Boyce's shimmy shake in the lane that resulted in a turnaround layup.
Hieber then followed up his first 3-pointer with two more that gave the Yellow Jackets a 42-37 lead with 1:26 remaining.
The Trojans, behind the efforts of team-leading-scorer Luke Kraus, refused to go away, though. Kraus converted a driving lay-up with 51 seconds to go to make it a one possession game, but Findlay couldn't get a much-needed stop on the ensuing possession as Hughes responded with a bucket of his own with 45 seconds to play.
Then came the back-breaker for the Trojans. Playing with three fouls, Kraus drove wildly to the hoop and was whistled for charging with 27.7 on the clock. Then letting his frustrations get the best of him, he threw an elbow at Perrysburg's Matt Marquette and was promptly issued a technical foul - and subsequently fouled out.
"They do a pretty good job [on defense], but we missed a lot of open shots I thought," Findlay coach Jim Rucki said.
"The big thing with their defense is they rebound well. They only give you one chance, so you got to make them."
Kraus, who's known for routinely putting up 20 points or more a game, finished with 13 points under heavy pressure from the Yellow Jackets all night.
"We definitely needed to take him away, and our guards did a good job," Hieber said. Hieber iced the game at the foul line, hitting five free throws in the final 34.3 seconds.
"It was a possession-by-possession game," Perrysburg coach Dave Boyce said. "There were three or four times it looked like it was their game. But we finally got a couple stops, and the momentum turned our way."
Perrysburg's NLL counterpart wasn't so lucky.
After Patrick Graham (14 points) made a basket for Bowling Green with 2:57 remaining in the first half to cut the deficit to two, Lima Senior put together an 11-0 run over the next 1:31, and the Bobcats found themselves playing a never-ending game of catch-up the rest of the way.
Chauncey Orr (24 points) finally put an end to the Spartans' second-quarter surge, hitting a turnaround jumper with 32 seconds left as BG went into halftime down 41-29 after committing five turnovers in the second quarter.
After a bucket from Lima Senior's Danyel Walton to start the third quarter, BG put itself back in contention with a 9-0 run, thanks in part to seven Spartan turnovers in the period.
Xavier Brown capped off the rush with a free throw to make it 43-38 with 4:20 left in the third quarter. But the Bobcats wouldn't come any closer the rest of the way, with the Spartans extending their lead to a comfortable 52-40 at the end of three quarters.
"We never made them scramble," BG coach Von Graffin said. "We got it close, we made a run at them, but it wasn't good enough."
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