DELPHOS – Delphos St. John’s Curtis Geise made sure his final game at Robert A. Arnzen Gymnasium was a memorable one.
In the end, it came down to Geise willing his team to a victory.
Geise scored 11 of his 33 points in overtime to lead Delphos St. John’s to a 64-57 overtime victory over New Bremen in boys basketball on Friday before a sold-out crowd in Delphos.
“Words can’t describe it,” the senior Geise said. “It was a sold-out crowd and they brought it from the tipoff to end of the game in overtime. In four years, I don’t think I’ve been in a game like that where it’s been that loud the entire time and that’s just great. … You can’t ask for any more. It was awesome.”
The victory keeps the Blue Jays (14-4) tied for first place in the Midwest Athletic Conference with St. Henry, both at 7-1. New Bremen (17-4) drops to 7-2 in the MAC.
Geise’s first bit of heroics came when he ripped down a rebound off a missed free throw with New Bremen leading 49-47 with 12 seconds left. Geise went end-to-end and hit a pull-up 12-footer in the lane to tie the game at 49 with five seconds left. That sent the game to overtime.
“Seth Bockey boxed his guy out and that gave me an open lane to get the rebound,” Geise said. “At that point, I thought attack and we needed a bucket to tie it. I wasn’t thinking two, I wasn’t thinking three, I was thinking score. I got an open look and it dropped.”
Once in overtime, Geise hit a pair of 15-footers and was 7 of 7 at the foul line for 11 OT points.
“He’s been with me for four years and he continues to amaze me in late-game situations,” St. John’s coach Aaron Elwer said. “He has a knack for making big play after big play. He’s done it since he was a freshman and he continues to do it as a senior.”
Geise said, “We knew we had to keep attacking (in overtime) because they did a great job on ball pressure. We knew rebounding and defense were the keys tonight.”
Geise gave the Blue Jays the lead to stay 58-57 when he sank two foul shots off a technical called on New Bremen coach Adam Dougherty with 26 seconds left.
Dougherty was hit with the technical just as the Blue Jays were bringing the ball up the floor.
Dougherty wouldn’t discuss getting hit with the technical after the game.
“I’m not talking about it,” Dougherty said. “I’m not getting fined by the state.”
Elwer added, “After they had scored (to give New Bremen a 57-56 lead with 29 seconds left in overtime), he wanted a timeout to get his team aligned. They didn’t get the timeout and we had brought the ball up. And, after that, I don’t know.”
St. John’s took the ball out of bounds after the technical. Geise was fouled and made two more foul shots off the double bonus. That gave the Blue Jays a 60-57 lead with 10 seconds left.
New Bremen’s Parker Manger missed a 3-pointer, Ryan Buescher rebounded and was fouled.
After Buescher made his first foul shot off the bonus with 2.9 seconds to go, Dougherty was rung up with his second technical and ejected.
After Buescher made both foul shots and Geise hit two shots off the technical, St. John’s suddenly had a cozy 64-57 lead.
Three seconds later, the St. John’s student section flooded the court.
Buescher finished with 15 points for the Blue Jays.
Ben Homan, New Bremen’s 6-foot-6 center, had 19 points and seven rebounds and he didn’t play in the second quarter after picking up two first-quarter fouls. Carson Manger had 17 points.
“Homan was amazing, he was a rebounding machine,” Dougherty said. “Let’s give credit to Aaron Elwer and his kids because they made plays.”
New Bremen won the boards, 31-29. Buescher had eight rebounds, while Geise had seven for St. John’s.
New Bremen led 26-22 at the half and had success finding Homan down low.
To start the overtime, Homan again posted up and scored inside to give the Cardinal a 51-49 lead.
“He was a huge concern,” Elwer said.
But back came Geise with a 15-footer and it was tied at 51.
With a win at Parkway next week, the Blue Jays would claim at least a share of the MAC title.
“We control our own destiny and we don’t have to worry about what someone else does,” Elwer said.