FINDLAY — Two Northern Lakes League teams captured Division I sectional boys basketball titles Friday night, setting up a showdown in the district.
Perrysburg used stifling defense, forcing 24 turnovers, to knock off Fremont Ross 48-36 at Liberty-Benton High School.
In the second sectional final, top-seeded Anthony Wayne defeated fourth-seeded Findlay 64-51. The Generals will face the Yellow Jackets in a district semifinal Thursday.
Perrysburg (15-8) never held a comfortable lead over the Little Giants (14-9), who pulled within four points with 1 minutes, 49 seconds to play. But the Yellow Jackets scored the final eight points.
Junior guard Nick Moschetti scored 19 points for Perrsyburg. Bryant Byrd, who converted on five of six free throws down the stretch, finished with nine points. Nate Patterson had 10 points.
“It's always tough in these tournament games because it’s evenly matched teams,” Moschetti said. “It was a great environment.”
Fremont Ross was led by Dylan Jagodzinski, who finished with 12 points.
The Little Giants, who were the No. 2 seed, finished with a 28-20 edge on the boards. The Yellow Jackets, who are the No. 3 seed, led 21-20 at the half.
“It took a lot of poise to stay with it and grind it out to the end,” Perrysburg coach Dave Boyce said. “The biggest thing is that we were disciplined on defense. I thought it was going to be the most even matchup that we’ve had in years. If there was a betting line on it, it would have been a push. That’s how it played out. We got two big shots, and they missed a couple at the end.”
The first half featured seven lead changes. Fremont Ross turned the ball over 11 times, and Perrysburg took the lead for good with 3:14 left in the second quarter.
Jagodzinski had eight of his 12 points in the first half.
Moschetti opened the third quarter with a 3-point play. The Yellow Jackets then went on a 6-0 run near the end of the quarter to seize a 32-25 lead.
“Nick Moschetti controlled the court with his defensive effort,” Boyce said.
Findlay pulled within four with 2:58 left but Shane Edwards came up with a steal and was fouled. He converted both free throws. Moschetti's lay-in with 1:20 left gave the Jackets a 42-36 lead. He then hit three of four field goals to put it away over the final 32 seconds.
“We knew they would try to pound it inside and we sat on those passes,” Moschetti said.
Perrysburg iced it by making 10 of 12 free throws in the final quarter.
“We've beaten two really good teams in Lima Senior and Fremont Ross,” Boyce said. “We are happy we are sectional champs.”
In the second game, the Generals took a lead late in the first quarter that they never surrendered, holding off numerous charges by the Trojans.
An 11-2 run in the second quarter gave AW a 28-16 cushion.
Ose Omofoma tallied 19 points for Anthony Wayne (18-4), while Mark Donnal scored 18 points. Hunter Debo chipped in with 12.
“We have confidence in everyone,” Omofoma said. “We play as a team. Each of the starting five can score. So that makes it easier on the whole team.”
Omofoma scored nine of his points in the pivotal second quarter, scoring seven of the 11 points during the key run as the 6-foot-10 Donnal drew a lot of attention in the middle.
“The plan was to attack the rim when they pressured us,” Omofoma said. “Mark can sometimes have three guys on him and that leaves us wide open.”
Austin Gutting paced Findlay with 13 points. Adam Twining had 11, while Michael Clark and Joseph Davidson each had 10 for the Trojans (15-9).
Matt Fox had a perfect feed to Donnal for an alley-oop dunk. Then Omofoma followed that with a jumper and a three-point play for a 12-point lead midway through the third.
“We have a lot of [different] guys are scoring right now,” AW coach Bryan Borcherdt said. “They can’t quite key on Mark all the time. It’s someone else all the time. It is nice to be able to call some different things and have different options.”
The Trojans climbed back to within five as Clark hit a 3 pointer and a long jumper late in the first half.
But AW then opened up the second half with a 7-0 run to take a 40-25 lead. The Trojans closed back within 10 points with a 5-0 spurt.
The Generals expanded that cushion to 14 with 5:24 left. The Generals knocked down 10 of 12 free throws in the fourth to seal it. Omofoma converted on his two foul shots to make it 58-43 with 3:16 remaining.
“Ose is playing great basketball right now,” Borcherdt said. “He not only scores for us but is one of our best defenders.”
Perrysburg has lost twice this year to Anthony Wayne, which won a league title for the first time since 1997-98.
“This was one of the goals that we set,” Borcherdt said. “We wanted to win a league championship and sectional championship. It’s the state tournament, and you better bring it the next game. We will have to be very good to beat Perrysburg.”
Contact Mark Monroe at: email@example.com, 419-724-6354 or on Twitter @MonroeBlade.