HARROD — Both teams assumed it would be a hard-fought contest.
In a regular-season matchup between New Knoxville and Temple Christian, it went to the third overtime before New Knoxville slipped out with a victory on a last-second shot.
Tuesday’s Division IV boys basketball sectional semifinal at Allen East with the same two teams, nearly traveled down the same path.
However, Temple Christian got an early lead and was able to hold on for a thrilling 46-40 win over New Knoxville.
With the victory, Temple Christian (12-11) will face Minster in a sectional final Friday around 8 p.m. at Allen East. New Knoxville ends its season, 5-18.
Temple Christian’s Brody Bowman led all scorers with 27 points, including 13-of-17 shooting from the free throw line. Teammate Noah Howell added 13 points, including 8-of-12 shooting from the charity stripe.
Nathan Tinnerman led New Knoxville with 23 points, 11 rebounds and three steals at the defensive end.
“Tournament games are always hard-fought possession games,” Temple Christian coach Bruce Bowman said. “That’s what we anticipated tonight. I guess the best thing I can say about us tonight, is that we fought hard. We made mistakes along the way, obviously, but we fought hard. We never relinquished. We maintained that lead.”
Temple Christian led 12-8 after the first quarter, and then went into the halftime break with an 18-12 advantage. Bowman accounted for 11 of those first-half points, including nine points in the first eight minutes of action.
By the end of the third quarter, Temple’s lead was 10, 31-21. New Knoxville struggled shooting in the third quarter, making just 2-of-12 shots from the field.
In the final quarter, Temple Christian was 0-for-4 from the floor, but was 14-for-18 at the charity stripe.
New Knoxville did cut the deficit to three points with 3:14 left in the game, 39-36, on a 3-pointer by Ben Lammers. However, Temple Christian got to the free throw line often to stave off the comeback bid by the Rangers.
For the game, Temple Christian shot just 27 percent from the floor. New Knoxville shot 31 percent from the field.
New Knoxville held a slight edge on the boards, 33-32.
Temple Christian committed 12 turnovers, while New Knoxville turned it over 17 times.
“I thought we played well, defensively,” Bowman said. “Obviously, we didn’t have an answer for Tinnerman; he played really well tonight. So, give him a lot of credit. We had held him (Tinnerman) to 12 points in the first half, and we held them to 40 for the game. When you hold teams to 40, you’re going to win a lot of games.”
Added New Knoxville coach Josh Lisi, “(In the) first half, we kind of lost ourselves. In the second half, I thought we came out with a lot of heart and played a lot harder. We missed some open shots. They (Temple Christian) hit shots when they needed to.”
Hardin Northern 45
In Tuesday’s Division IV opener at Allen East, Ridgemont pulled away in the second half, en route to the convincing win.
However, in the first half, the game was tight as Ridgemont went into the break with a 23-22 lead.
In the second half, Ridgemont took control and pulled out to a 42-30 lead by the third stop. In the fourth quarter, Ridgemont made 14-of-20 free throws to pull away.
Trevor Stover led Ridgemont (6-17) with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Stover also eclipsed the 1,000-point career mark in Tuesday’s win.
Ridgemont will take on No. 1 seed Perry in Friday’s first sectional title game, with tip-off set for 6:15.
Zachary Wilhelm led Hardin Northern (2-21) with a game-high 21 points, and a game-high 12 boards. Teammate Shawn Weihrauch added 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Ridgemont shot 33 percent from the floor. Hardin Northern countered with 30-percent shooting.
“Our defense was really the problem in the first half,” Ridgemont coach Nick Stuck said. “Our backside help was setting up, but we weren’t rotating down. We missed some shots. I think we forced a few shots. Trevor (Stover) knew he needed 17 points for 1,000, and I think he put up a few quick shots.
“In the second half, we told them to be patient, get to the rim. Trenton Sparks hit a couple treys. Everything gets easier when you hit buckets.”
The Lima News sports department can be reached at 567-242-0468.