by JP Miklovic
In winning the OHSAA Findlay District Basketball Championship, the 2016 – 17 North Baltimore High School Boys Basketball team will be making a trip that hasn’t been made in nearly 80 years from NB, the Tigers have earned a trip to the Ohio Regional Basketball Tournament at BGSU!
The #5 seed (Findlay District) NB boy’s will suit up on the floor of the Stroh Arena, on the campus of Bowling Green State University, to battle with #1 seeded Mansfield St. Peter, winner of the Willard District. The game is Tuesday, March 14, tipping off at 6:15 pm. The winner will advance to the Regional Final at the University of Toledo next Saturday (March 18).
The Tigers played Arlington in the District Championship game at Liberty-Benton High School Friday, March 10. Arlington had beaten the Tigers in a Blanchard Valley Conference game in a late January (here is our NBX post about that game – NB vs. Arlington Jan. 27).
The outcome of tonight’s game was totally different than that first outing, as the Tigers defense absolutely stymied the Red Devil’s 6′ 5″ senior post player, Logan Speyer, who scored just 4 points, due to a defensive strategy that included the fronting of Speyer, primarily by Brady Rader, who was spelled by Noah Cotterman. The Tigers used strong back-side help from any Tiger near their big man, when Arlington was trying to get the ball inside.
Arlington would lead 5 – 3, but that was it, as the Tigers took the lead 7 – 5 and pretty much “cruised” to the 66 – 53 win. Of course it wasn’t a cruise at all, but NB led 23 – 13 after the first quarter and 36 – 28 at the half. The lead was extended in the 3rd, as the boys would not allow the Devils to gain any momentum, with sheer hustle and determination from whichever of the Tigers were on the floor.
NB was led by Chase Naugle with 22 points, 5 steals and 4 assists, but more importantly, 5′ 8″, junior, point-guard provided an example of the effort needed and the leadership to keep the Tigers on track.
6′ 3″, freshman post player Levi Gazarek continues to provide offensive range both in the paint and beyond the arc, as he hit a couple of 3’s on his way to 17 points. Gazarek spent a good share of the evening in foul trouble, as he made some youthful mistakes on the defensive end. Levi also grabbed 6 rebounds and was often the backside help that thwarted Speyer.
Junior, Julian Hagemyer was all over the place, causing defensive disruptions, along with hitting 16 points and grabbing 6 rebounds.
Brady Rader was the “front man” in the operation to keep the ball away from Speyer, as well as throwing down 8 points.
Noah Brian hit just one three, but it was key in derailing a possible Arlington run, at the beginning of the 3rd quarter. Noah also had 4 assists and numerous defensive outbursts, that helped to disrupt the Red Devils offensive efforts.
While Cotterman, Adam Flores and Taylor Bishop did not score, these guys provided quality relief minutes for the Tiger starters. Without them, this game has a different outcome!
We will have a foto gallery by Ferg later today and possibly some video…
Photos by JP