VAN WERT — Sometimes “Plan B” is good enough.
Delphos St. John’s has ridden the scoring of Curtis Geise all season but Wednesday night he struggled from the floor in Division IV sectional semifinal action against Fort Jennings.
So Geise became a passer and totaled seven assists to help the Blue Jays to a 56-32 win and the right to meet Lincolnview at 8 p.m. Friday night at Van Wert for the sectional title.
The Blue Jays defense caused numerous turnovers but Fort Jennings was still within 20-16 early in the second quarter.
St. John’s then went on a 12-0 run to end the first half up 32-16 and then took total control with a 10-0 run to open the third period. That 22-0 run put the Blue Jays up 42-16 margin and the only question at that point was the final score.
Ryan Koester led the Blue Jays with a game-high 16 points. Ryan Buescher added 13 and Eric finished with 11. Geise ended the night with eight points.
Clark connected on three treys in the contest while Koester totaled four 3-pointers for the Blue Jays.
The Blue jays struggled to a 36 percent shooting game as they connected on only 20-of-55 from the field. The normally hot-shooting Geise finished 4-of-14 including 0-of-7 on 3-point attempts.
“Tonight we missed shots that we have been making,” St. John’s coach Aaron Elwer said. “I don’t know if that was nerves, the strange gym, or tournament jitters so we will practice shooting tomorrow.”
The Musketeers shot 40 percent on 11-of-27 from the field but 16 turnovers were too much for them to be able to overcome.
St. John’s pulled down 29 rebounds to 20 for Fort Jennings and the Blue Jays had an excellent floor game as they committed only four turnovers.
“We generally are a low turnover team but that was outstanding,” Elwer said. “Our defense was outstanding and led to that 22-0 run.”
Fort Jennings got 12 points from senior Brandon Kohli and 11 from sophomore Nick VonSossan.
Lincolnview 50 Temple Christian 43
Temple Christian has had a season long depth problem and it came back to bite the Pioneers as they dropped a 50-43 decision to Lincolnview.
The Pioneers only had three players break into the scoring column in the game and one of them spent a quarter and a half on the bench due to foul problems.
But despite falling behind by 26-17 at the half, the never say die Temple Christian squad fought back and got to within one point twice in the second half.
“We were down nine and came out in the second half with real passion,” Pioneers coach Bruce Bowman said. “We couldn’t get that key stop or rebound to get us over the hump, but give credit to Lincolnview as they did what they had to do.”
Andrew Rhoad was the Pioneer in early foul trouble and when he was forced to the bench the Lancers began to get the ball inside to 6-foot-3 Conner McCleery, who finished with 15 points.
“Getting in foul trouble hurt us and allowed them to get the ball inside and exploit us,” Bowman said. “We didn’t play our best but we played hard and I’m proud of this team; our six seniors gave a lot to Temple Christian basketball.”
Lincolnview got 17 points from Kyle Williams to go along with McCleery’s 15.
Senior Justin Kroehler totaled a game-high 21 points for the Pioneers, which included a 12-point third quarter as he tried to pull Temple Christian back into the game. Evan Sutton ended the contest with 14 points and Rhoas finished with eight in the game.
Temple also had trouble with turnovers as they committed 15 in the contest to only eight for Lincolnview.