PIQUA – Triad clawed its way back into the game Wednesday night, but Fort Loramie pulled away late and finished with a 51-39 victory in Division IV boys sectional basketball.
The Cardinals spotted Fort Loramie eight points in the early stages of the game before finally finding a bit of a rhythm. The first quarter finished with Triad trailing, 13-11.
“I think our guys settled down a little bit after the first few minutes of the game. They were pretty amped up. They felt confident,” Triad Coach Jason Malone said. “We were making some self-inflicted errors.”
Those turnovers and silly fouls ended up costing Triad dearly, as all but perhaps 12 minutes of play seemed to point to a narrow Cardinals’ victory.
“That was a point of emphasis before the game, because Saturday versus Lehman we had 19 turnovers and we hung on to win that game,” Malone said. “We said if we have that again, we’re not going to win the game. We had 10 at half, so I know we had probably over 20.”
And while Fort Loramie maintained the narrow margin at halftime, 23-20, Triad was able to scrap its way to a 30-29 lead at the end of the third quarter. Alec Ober hit a banked three-pointer with 2:33 left in the frame to give Triad its first lead of the game.
For Triad, Hadley LeVan had 14 points and Ober scored 11.
But the fourth quarter belonged to the Redskins, who were able to retake the lead with a few minutes to play and then ice it from the line. Fort Loramie was 11-of-14 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter and 15-of-23 for the game.
“We had plenty of time left. Hadley – they were clawing down hard on him,” Malone said. “And I said ‘everyone has to work extra hard to get open, not just him.’ A lot of our offense now is about setting good screens and the guards making themselves hard to guard. And I think we did, but to be honest, we got killed at the free throw line at the end.”