MECHANICSBURG – The Indians had a late outburst against rival West Liberty-Salem Friday night, but the visiting Tigers rode an early cushion to a 68-64 victory in OHC boys basketball.
WL-S Coach Darrin Leichty wasn’t happy with the letdown.
“Offensively, they are really good. They got too deep on penetration,” Leichty said. “Mixed in with a couple of turnovers and missed free throws, you’re going to lose your lead pretty quickly.”
WL-S led 36-24 at halftime and 52-36 going into the fourth quarter. The Indians (2-7, 1-6 OHC) made a hard charge in the fourth period, capped with a three-pointer at the buzzer.
“We’re four possessions away from being good and beating good teams,” Mechanicsburg Coach Matt Siegel said. “That’s something that we’ve got to overcome, but we’re getting there. The second half of the year here, I think we’ve got a chance to do some good things.”
The Tigers (8-2, 5-0 OHC) were unstoppable from beyond the three-point arc for much of the game, coming away with 10 treys on the way to victory. Mechanicsburg responded with 7 long-distance shots of its own.
“We have to do a better job of getting that key stop or getting that key basket – whatever it is,” Siegel said. “They could have very easily quit tonight and made that a 20- or 30-point loss, but that’s not them. That’s not the type of kids they are.”
Kannon Stillings led the Tigers with 18 points, with Austin Miller and Tyler Louden contributing 17 each. Bobby Welch led the Indians with a game-high 22 points and Joey Butsch scored 11.
West Liberty-Salem won the jayvee game, 66-27. Bryan Parks had 21 points and Adam Schultz scored 11 for WL-S. For M’burg, Billy Muterspaw and Joey Mascadri each had 10 points.
West Liberty-Salem hosts Southeastern on Tuesday and Mechanicsburg hosts Gahanna Christian on Monday.
Reach Justin Miller at 652-1331 (ext. 1776) or on Twitter @UDC_Miller.