DELTA - With both teams leading scorers, Scott Garlinger for Delta and Sean Culler for Bryan, sidelined and in street clothes, the Golden Bears got two twenty plus point efforts out of Thomas Martin and Austin Schimmoeller to defeat the Panthers, 65-54 in league action at Delta Tuesday.
Both Garlinger and Culler were out with what appeared to be foot injuries.
As for the Golden Bears, Schimmoeller finished with 22, while Martin notched 21.
“It was deja vu from Friday night a little bit. Against Archbold we got down by 27 and ended up cutting that down to two,” Delta coach Kyle Bostater said. “We got it all the way down to one and missed a bunny, then turned the ball over the next four possessions. That’s your ball game.”
The Panther coach was especially impressed with the two scorers for Bryan and how they stepped in for Culler.
“Their senior leaders stepped up. That’s what I told Schimmoeller and Martin, I said you guys really stepped up for Culler tonight and they really did,” Bostater explained.
Despite only being down two, 17-15 in the opening minutes of the second quarter, Bryan outscored the Panthers 21-6 over the final 5:53 of the half and took a 38-21 lead into the break.
The Panthers would get things going in the second half though as they went on a 21-11 run in the third quarter.
Jake Jones went one of two from the foul line to open the half for Bryan, then Justin Callahan hit a long deuce.
And with 7:16 remaining in the third, Bailey Monroe stepped off his position at the post and drilled a three that made it a 13 point game, 39-26. It was contributions such as this that pleased coach Bostater, even in a losing effort.
“We got some great contributions from our guys to,” Bostater said. “We got some great post play from Parker Phillips and Alex Lutheran, and even Bailey Monroe. It changes everything when our whole game plan is to establish Scott (Garlinger) early and we’re not able to do that.”
Following an empty possession by Delta, Bryan’s Alex Thiel made two free throws after drawing contact inside.
Andrew Stickley scored on a feed from Callahan on the Panthers’ next possession and Ethan Edwards followed with a bucket on a fast break that cut the Bears’ lead down to 11, 41-30.
The Bears would again miss on its next possession and Alex Lutheran responded with a bucket, forcing the Bears to use a timeout.
The timeout, however, did work to their advantage as Schimmoeller buried a triple to put their lead back at 12, 44-32.
Then after a bucket for Lutheran and two free throws for Jason Hug of Bryan, Edwards hit a corner three and dished to Callahan on the next possession who put it in, reducing their deficit to 46-39 with 2:30 left in the third.
Edwards finished with 11 points on the night while Callahan led them with 12.
“That’s the Callahan that we need,” Bostater said of his senior. “I told him after, that’s what we need from you every game from here on out. He played a little bit out of character on Friday night (against Archbold) and he bounced back tonight.”
The Panthers again got the ball back with 1:30 left in the third as Stickley drilled a runner in the lane and followed with one out of two free throws. Then Martin for Bryan earned his money, so to speak, converting a three point play that pushed the Bears’ lead to 49-42 heading into the final frame.
The two teams traded buckets to begin the fourth, then Phillips scored on the block for Delta and Edwards hit two of three from the charity stripe after being fouled on a three point shot.
Delta got the ball back again with over five minutes to play and Monroe scored on a second chance opportunity that brought Delta within one at 51-50. But, the Bears would score the next eight points and 14 of 18 to pull away from the Panthers.
The run started with a fast-break bucket for Bryan’s Kyle Rupp. Then the Panthers turned it over twice as Jones and Schimmoeller scored both times on the break, extending the lead to 57-50 with under four to play.
The Bears picked off Delta on their next possession and Jones again finished. And with under two minutes to play, Martin hit one of two at the foul line and added a layup around a free throw from Delta to put them back up by double-digits, 62-51.
Three of four free throws by Schimmoeller and an Edwards triple kept the margin at 11 and that was where it would remain.
Delta (10-6, 3-3 NWOAL) is currently riding a five game losing streak, but their confidence is not shot.
“We want to win every game from here on out and I think we have the possibility to,” Bostater said of his team’s strategy moving forward. “We lost five games in a row, but we lost four out of those five (to teams) who are Division II schools that are good. I told the kids, start with a five game losing streak and finish with a five game winning streak and be ready for sectionals.”
The Panthers are at home with Patrick Henry on Friday and at Evergreen Saturday.