by JP Miklovic
The OHSAA Regional Semi-Final Basketball game at BGSU with Mansfield St. Peter (24 – 2), started out promising enough with the North Baltimore Tiger’s (16 – 11) Julian Hagemyer hitting a “3” to begin the only NB run of the game.
AT LEFT – Julian Hagemyer hits the Tiger’s opening shot
The Tigers, “visitors” on the scoreboard, ran off a 10 – 4 run to start the game, that ended about half way through the first quarter, on an “and 1” by Hagemyer. The experienced Spartans, #2 team in D – IV polls, had been in the Regionals at The Stroh just last year, so they knew how to respond on the big stage, with a 19 – 0 run that lasted 6 minutes and put the upstart Tigers in their place.
NB was unable to regain any momentum, with St. Pete hitting shots high and low, fast and slow, putting on a transition (fast break) offensive clinic. And the Spartans defensive pressure in the half-court, including multiple blocked shots, forced the Tigers to shoot “air balls” and make turnovers. In addition, the game became a bit physical, leading to St. Pete running away to an impressive 72 – 45 win.
Hagemyer led the Tigers with 19 points. Chase Naugle scored 12 points. Levi Gazarek had 6 points and 7 rebounds.Noah Cotterman hit for 4 points. Brady Rader and Filip Frnjic each had 2 points.
NB hit just 2 of 19, 3 – point shots and only 17 of 41, 2 – pointers.
The Tigers had a great run in the second half of the season, as they started out with a 6 – 9 record into February, but then ran off 6 wins in seven games to finish the regular season at 12 – 10. In the post season they added 4 straight wins on the way to the District Championship.
NB will return a seasoned team for the 2017 – 18 season, with only one starter, Noah Brian, graduating. With hard work in the off-season (although most of these athletes play at least two other sports at NB, so there really is no “off season”) the Tigers should look for good times in The Jungle next Winter.
Thanks and congrats to all of the players, coaches and staff!
Fotos and more to come…