Westminster uses its superior depth to defeat Tomcats
The Titans rallied from an 18-point first half deficit.
By BILL ALBRIGHT
GREENVILLE, Pa. -- For the Westminster Titans, it was a nice win on the road after a frustrating loss to Grove City at home. On the other hand for Thiel, it was one that appeared to be there for the taking, but got away from the Tomcats as the Titans came from behind for a 78-66 win Wednesday night at Rissell-Beeghly Gymnasia.
"They [Thiel] did a good job on us tonight," said Westminster coach Larry Ondako. "We probably should have come and pressed right off the bat, but actually I was concerned that if we did that, they would be able to get a bunch of easy shots. We always struggle to shoot well here, but overall, our kids hung in there and came away with a big win."
Ondako also thought that the depth of his squad played a big difference in the win.
"We have good depth, and if you would have told me that we were to win this game with Dom Joseph only playing five minutes, I would have said you were crazy. Fortunately we have enough kids who can step up there and get things done for us."
Thiel starts strong
Thiel ran a patterned offense trying to take Westminster out of its game. For the first 14 minutes of the game, it worked as the Tomcats built up an 18-point lead (34-16).
"That is what we wanted to do, not only at the start, but for the entire game," said Thiel coach Tim Loomis. "We wanted to simply play our game, take them out of their game and for a while it worked."
However, during the final six minutes of the opening period, the Titans outscored the Tomcats by a 20-6 margin to claw their way back into the game as they only trailed by four (40-36) at halftime.
Coming out of halftime, the Titans (12-6, 5-1) kept their fast-paced game rolling until they took only their second lead of the game at 45-44 three minutes into the second half. From there, the Titans kept pouring it on as they outscored the Tomcats 13-4 in less than three minutes to lead by double digits.
"We had a chance to pull away in the game, but we had two layups and four foul shots and we came away with only one point," Ondako said. "If we would have taken advantage of those situations, we could have gone up by 17, but instead we allowed them to stay around for the rest of the game."
Ondako praised the play of point guard Greg Rosatelli and the Titan inside men Steve Bielich and Jake Zatchok as the difference in the game.
Rosatelli finished with a game-high 23 points, six assists and four steals, while Bielich's final numbers had him with 20 points, six boards and a steal. Although Zatchok's numbers weren't as impressive as Bielich's and Rosatelli's, he gave Ondako a solid 21 minutes off the bench.
"He [Bielich] is really coming along and Rosatelli has been playing high level basketball for us all season," said Ondako. "Zatchok and Ryan Ricketts both did a good job inside, especially defensively, and they were able to get their guys in foul trouble.
The Tomcats (5-12, 2-4) had four players in double digits, led by Joe Herrmann's 18. Cory Chafee added 16 and Brandon Mirizio and Gary Gates each tossed in 12.