CENTER – And then there was another.
Columbus Grove became the only team without a loss in the Northwest Conference after the Bulldogs defeated Lincolnview 70-49 on Tuesday night.
Columbus Grove improves 10-1 for the season and goes 4-0 in the NWC. Lincolnview falls to 10-3 for the season and slips to 3-1 in the conference game.
Columbus Grove head coach Chris Sautter said the win was big but knows there are still many big games to come at the conference.
“That means we’re alone at the top at 4-0, but we still have Bluffton to play. We still have Jefferson out and we have Allen East and Ada left so we’re only halfway through the conference, ”said Sautter. “We have three more games for the next three weeks. We have to make sure we take care of business. “
Another outstanding defensive foray, coupled with a balanced goal attack, was the key to the Bulldogs taking the big win.
For the fourth game in a row, the Bulldogs kept an opponent under 50 points. Lincolnview entered the competition with an average of 64.9 points per game.
“That was a pretty good defense performance,” said Sautter. “You will collect points. You have athletes who can shoot and score. A good team effort at both ends of the pitch. “
Colin Overholt from Lincolnview was the only Lancer to score double digits with 12 points.
Offensive, the Bulldogs saw five different players break the double-digit barrier. Tayt Birnesser led with 16 points, 15 of them in the second half and 12 in the fourth quarter. He had five threesomes that night.
Gabe Clement added 14 points and Trey Sautter, who was instrumental in helping Columbus Grove to take the early lead with eight points in the second quarter, finished the race on 13 points.
Ethan Halker scored 12 points and got 10 rebounds. Blake Reynolds, who caught 11 carambola, finished the race with 10 points.
Sautter said seeing multiple players in the double digits is the goal of every game.
“The game where Blake has 25 and Tayt has 23 and everyone else is at three is not very good,” said Sautter. “I think everyone is back and healthy and the interplay of roles is establishing itself and the older kids are starting to trust the older kids and things come together at the right time.”
Sautter added that seeing Birnessers and Halkers come to life offensively is a great sign.
“He (Birnesser) kept telling me I had to see someone go in,” said Sautter. “Once he saw someone walking through the door in Katy Bar because we are here and we were on Ethan. Where’s Ethan last year and he hasn’t given us the energy and boost we expected from him and tonight the man. He kept many balls alive. It was a great game for him. “
After a tight first quarter in which the two teams were looking for their shot, Columbus Grove had a lead of 15-14. In the first eight minutes, the game was drawn three times and the lead changed hands five times.
In the second quarter, the Bulldogs began increasing their defensive intensity and Columbus Grove was able to build a double-digit lead.
A few early Lancer sales, coupled with some precise perimeter shots from Sautter, opened the Bulldogs in the first half with a 5:11 lead of 27-20. That lead reached up to 13 points in the next three minutes as the Lancers never found an offensive rhythm and the Bulldogs defeated Lincolnview 8-2 to give Columbus Grove a 37-24 lead in the second half.
A 9-4 Bulldog run at the start of the third quarter increased the lead 4:32 to 46-28 and the Lancers desperately needed a big run to get back into the game. Lincolnview got a quick 6-0 run to reduce it to 12 points. Grove went into the last verse, leading 54-40.
Columbus Grove’s Tayt Birnesser will meet Landon Price of Lincolnview in Lincolnview on Tuesday night.
Lincolnview’s Creed Jessee will play Blake Reynolds of Columbus Grove in Lincolnview on Tuesday night.
Columbus Grove’s Gabe Clement will face Daegan Hatfield (left) of Lincolnview and Creed Jessee (left) during Tuesday night’s game in Lincolnview.
Lincolnview’s Aaron Cavinder will play Columbus Grove’s Trey Sautter in Lincolnview on Tuesday night.
Columbus Grove’s Blake Reynolds will face Daegan Hatfield of Lincolnview in Lincolnview on Tuesday night.
Bulldogs go undefeated in NWC games