Archbold's Luke Kammeyer is run down by Columbus Africentric's Fuquan Tucker in the Division III regional final. THE BLADE/ANDY MORRISON Enlarge | Buy This PhotoBOWLING GREEN — Archbold coach Doug Krauss thought the Blue Streaks delivered a solid performance Saturday night in a Division III regional final at Anderson Arena.
Columbus Africentric produced an even better effort, particularly down the stretch, to come away with a 45-38 victory over the Blue Streaks to earn a spot in the D-III final four.
"We lost to a quality squad tonight," Krauss said.
The Nubians (18-7) owned a one-point lead over the Blue Streaks (23-2) with just over four minutes left in the game. It appeared to be anyone's contest.
However, Africentric outscored Archbold 10-4 the rest of the way to claim victory in the final official basketball game scheduled to be played in Bowling Green State University's historic gym.
"I think the final score isn't indicative of the game," Krauss said. "We were right there and we had our opportunities.
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"Africentric just made more plays than us."
Garrett Morton scored 13 of his team-high 17 points in the first half to lead the Blue Streaks. Luke Kammeyer and Zeb Frank finished with 7 points apiece for Archbold, which shot 48 percent (12 of 25) from the field.
Marquice Taylor paced the Nubians with 21 points, including 13 in the second half, and recording three steals. Kalomo Figueroa-Jackson chipped in 10 points for Africentric.
The Nubians are coached by Michael Bates, who is the son of former Libbey coach Leroy Bates.
Blue Streaks coach Doug Krauss hugs Garrett Morton after Archbold's loss in the Division III regional final at Anderson Arena. THE BLADE/ANDY MORRISON Enlarge | Buy This PhotoAfricentric's coach said the Nubians' full-court pressuring style of play comes from his Toledo roots.
"For 32 minutes we play man-to-man," Michael Bates said. "We've got to be tough and that's how we play. In Toledo, the style, it's 94 feet man-to-man for 32 minutes."
The Nubians' steady pressure did have an affect on the Blue Streaks.
Archbold starting point guard Telly Fricke was held to three points and was 0-for-6 from the field
"It's the hardest pressure we've seen all year," Fricke said. "It wasn't like it was in spurts [the defensive pressure], it was the whole game."
Morton also thought Nubians' defense was a determining factor to the outcome, particularly in the second half. Africentric limited Archbold to eight points in each of the final two quarters.
The Nubians, who took a 24-22 lead into halftime, outscored the Blue Streaks 15-8 in the final quarter.
"They have some pretty good athletes and made it tough on us the whole night," Morton said.
The Blue Streaks and Nubians kept it close throughout the first half.
Figueroa-Jackson and Taylor provided eight points apiece in the first half to lead the Nubians into halftime with the advantage.
Contact Donald Emmons at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6302.