WEST LIBERTY – WL-S flexed its muscles in the second half and pulled away from a pesky Mechanicsburg squad to win Friday’s OHC boys basketball game, 68-47. The win claimed at least a share of the OHC title for the Tigers with a showdown looming against Southeastern next week.
The Tigers celebrated by cutting down the nets on their home floor.
“I think this group is going to put this out of their mind and be ready to play Southeastern,” WL-S Coach Darrin Leichty said. “They deserve it. It’s going to be a big week coming up for us.”
Mechanicsburg kept it close for a half, trailing 14-12 and 31-25 after each of the first two quarters.
“Obviously Mechanicsburg was playing hard right there and then put us on our heels a little bit to start the second half,” Leichty said. “They got a lead and then from then on, we really dug in defensively.”
The Indians even came out of the dressing room with an 8-0 run that gave them the lead, only to watch the Tigers rattle off 17 unanswered points to close the quarter with a 48-33 lead.
“They’re very good. They’re able to put four shooters around a very big kid who’s good at using his body,” MHS Coach Matt Siegel said. “They can score quickly. We had a few missed opportunities and they made theirs. That seems to be a trend for us against really good teams.”
The fireworks didn’t stop in the third quarter for the Tigers (18-2, 13-0), as they came out shooting well in the fourth period also, extending the lead even further.
“You start to help a bit better, corral a few rebounds we didn’t get earlier in the game and obviously you hit a few shots – and that’s a big deal,” Leichty said.
For the game, WL-S made 11 three-pointers while Mechanicsburg had 3.
Dillon Callicoat scored 16 points for West Liberty-Salem with Kannon Stillings adding 15. Austin Miller scored 12 points and Luke Woods added 11.
For Mechanicsburg (6-12), Bobby Welch scored 19 points and David Harvey, Mack Cushman and Joey Butsch each tallied 8 points.
WL-S ran away with the jayvee game, 65-14. Trevor Burden had 18 points and Max Eggleston scored 10 in that game for the Tigers.
Mechanicsburg plays at home against Riverside today while West Liberty-Salem plays at Urbana on Tuesday before traveling to Southeastern next Friday.