PANDORA — Pandora-Gilboa versus Leipsic, part two.
Just eight days ago, P-G slipped past Leipsic 55-48, in a Putnam County League matchup at Leipsic.
Friday night, the same two teams met in a Blanchard Valley Conference contest.
Two different conference matchups, but pretty much the same result Friday night.
Friday night, Pandora-Gilboa got out to a quick start, and then staved off Leipsic in the second half for a hard-fought 53-48 victory in boys’ basketball action at Pandora-Gilboa.
P-G led for nearly the entire game. Leipsic took the lead late in the fourth quarter, but the Rockets got the job done at the free throw line to put it away.
With the win, P-G improves to 6-3 overall and 3-1 in the BVC. Leipsic slips to 3-5 overall and 2-2 in BVC play.
Despite Dylan Schroeder’s game-high 23 points for Leipsic, P-G controlled the game for most of the way. The 6-foot-4 Schroeder also pulled down eight rebounds. Teammate Tyler Hiegel scored 14 points, including four 3-pointers.
Jared Breece led P-G with 20 points and had five rebounds. Riley Larcom added 15 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals for the Rockets.
P-G coach Joe Braidic said playing the same team twice in an eight-day span can be a challenge.
“We put a few things in for them, but mostly out of bounds stuff,” Braidic said. “We put in some out-of-bounds plays to give Riley (Larcom) some looks.”
Larcom added, “The first time (you play a team), you just kind of get to know them a little bit. Then, obviously the second game, we know that this person does this, and this person does this; and we have to improve on last time.”
P-G got out to an 18-12 lead by the end of the first quarter. Breece led the way for the Rockets with nine points, on 5 of 5 shooting from the floor.
The Rockets were a sizzling 8 of 10 shooting from the field in the first quarter.
Schroeder scored seven points in the first stanza to lead Leipsic.
Two minutes into the second quarter, the Vikings cut it to 2, 18-16, on a layup by Cole Rieman (six points, four assists).
However, P-G responded, pulling out to a 26-21 lead by the break. Breece scored four more points in the second stanza, ending the first half with 13 points.
Schroeder kept the Vikings close, scoring seven more points in the second quarter, ending the half with 14 points.
“Schroeder came to play,” Braidic said. “Tonight, he threw in a lot of stuff. He had some nice shots. We made him take the shots we wanted, but they still went in.
So, we switched Riley (Larcom) to (guard) him later and Riley made a big difference, because he couldn’t catch the ball in spots. Riley’s a little quicker and gets to the spots a little faster.”
P-G led 39-33 by the third stop. Schroeder continued to work down low, scoring seven more points.
In the fourth quarter, Leipsic made a small run.
At the 6:35 mark, a 3-pointer by Hiegel, cut it to 39-36.
With 5:16 left to play in the game, Drew Liffick hit a 3-pointer from the right corner to make it a two-point game, 41-39.
At the 3:38 mark of the fourth quarter, Rieman scored off a steal, cutting it to 1, 42-41.
In the final eight minutes of action, P-G turned the ball over six times.
Then with 2:20 left to play in the game, Leipsic claimed its first lead, 43-42, on an inside move by Hiegel.
However, in the waning moments, P-G reclaimed the lead and knocked down free throws to put the game away.
In the fourth quarter, the Rockets made 10 of 12 shots from the foul line. Leipsic did not get to the free throw line in the final stanza. For the game, P-G was 10 of 17 from the free throw line. Leipsic was just 1 of 2 at the charity stripe.
“We struggled in the paint a little bit,” Leipsic coach Chris Kuhlman said. “We got some good looks, but we didn’t get to the foul line. That was the difference. We didn’t score in the paint and did not get to the free throw line.”
For the game, P-G shot 51 percent from the floor. Leipsic shot 41 percent.
Both teams turned the ball over 13 times on the night.
P-G won the boards, 27-22.
“We started settling for too many threes off of one or two passes,” Braidic said. “It caught up to us. Then, once we started attacking the rim and taking inside/out threes, things changed. We maintained that lead. Then, those guys stepped up and hit foul shots, which you expect seniors to do. The game was on the line and they stepped up and hit them. That was the difference in the game, really.”
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.