By Joe Catullo
Earlier this season, Newton Falls defeated Girard for the team’s first win.
On Wednesday, the Tigers made sure they wouldn’t lose their last game to those same Indians in a 54-45 victory in the Division III sectional at Howland.
“Both teams played extremely hard,” said Girard coach Craig Hannon. “It just didn’t go our way.”
Girard (16-7) led by one point with 1:49 remaining before the Tigers (14-10) finished on a 14-2 run.
“It was nothing different than what we were doing in our game plan,” said Tigers’ coach Roy Sembach. “Maybe our experience showed at the end of the game. It was just nice to not make mistakes down the stretch.”
Dale Kernen scored 21 points, including a half court shot right before halftime, for the Tigers.
“It [the shot] gave us momentum, and there were times in the second half were the score was within a couple of points,” Sembach said. “Sometimes it helps to have a little bit of luck.”
Evan Standohar led Girard with 23 points and Craig Randall scored 18.
Newton Falls advances to play LaBrae on Monday. The Vikings defeated Campbell, 67-39, in the second game.
The Red Devils (7-17) were thinking upset early on, trailing 28-19 at the half. Actually, Peyton Aldridge led Campbell, 22-19, at halftime.
“His offensive rebounding was key, and that’s what kept us in the game in the first half,” said Vikings coach Chad Kiser. “Otherwise we’re probably down six or eight at the half if he doesn’t get offensive rebounds.”
Then the Vikings (20-3) found their edge in the third quarter, outscoring Campbell by 20 points.
“We knew Peyton was going to get his,” said Campbell coach Mike Szenborn. “We just tried to limit the others’ points and possessions. We were able to do that in the first half, and then it got away from us in the second half.”