The Eagles scored theirninth win with an all-around team effort.
By BILL ALBRIGHT
GROVE CITY, Pa. -- The Grove City and Sharon High boys basketball teams opened play Wednesday night in the Mercer County Athletic Conference, and after 32 minutes the teams still were tied.
However, in overtime, Grove City outscored its guest 15-7 for an 83-78 win.
"I tell everybody that my hair doesn't turn gray, it just falls out," said Grove City coach Don Fee about the frantic win. "We have had a number of games like this earlier and they have helped us prepare to handle games like this one tonight."
For the Eagles (9-3, 1-0), it was an all-around team effort that eventually got the job done.
Key points: Brian Sansom hit five big points to open the fourth period, and Will Anderson shook off a sluggish first half to finish with 16.
The Eagles were also led by a pair of sophomores, as Mike Johnson had a strong double-double with 21 points and 20 boards, while Kevin Persch came off the bench to add 20 points and five boards.
"I didn't realize that he [Persch] had 20 points, but he certainly did a lot of good things for us," said Fee with a smile. "Mike Johnson also played a heckuva ball game for us and that is a pretty good effort."
Despite watching his team come out on the short end of the final score, Sharon coach Jim Hoy was pleased with his team's effort.
"Whether we are 30 up, 30 down or even, there is no quit in these kids and they really battled hard," Hoy said. "We made some great adjustments, played hard and battled back several times."
Advantages: There were at least two glaring statistics -- a 54-40 rebounding edge by Grove City as well as a decisive edge by the host team in making trips to the charity stripe.
The Eagles made good on 21 of 30 attempts to just 2-of-9 for the Tigers. Those two statistics plus the loss of top scorers Mike Schneider and Duston Golub to personal fouls, led to the demise of the Tigers.
Golub departed late in the game with a game-high 22 points.
"They are a very good team that is well-coached, but they went to the line 25 times and we went nine. Who is going to win that one?" said Hoy. "We played this game with our top two players in foul trouble from the time we walked in the door."
Defense clicks: Although his team was unable to put the Tigers (5-4, 0-1) away in regulation after leading by 16 points in the second quarter, Fee felt that defensively his players did a good job of executing the fundamentals.
"I thought we did an excellent job of staying with our men and getting bodies on people once the shot went up," said Fee. "We knew that was going to be key for us."
Completing the trio of Grove City players in doubles was Will Anderson with 16, while joining Golub in doubles for Sharon were Luke Schweiss and Jake Braymer with 10 apiece.