ELIDA – Spencerville’s man-to-man defense was wearing on Elida.
That, and sickness had wreaked havoc with the Bulldogs this week.
But, Elida found a way to bounce back from a five-point deficit in overtime to post a 56-53 overtime win over Spencerville in a boys basketball game Friday at the Elida Fieldhouse.
This game was a battle all night long.
Spencerville freshman Josh Henline hit a running 10-footer off the glass with 13 seconds left to tie the game at 48 and send the game to overtime.
Then, Henline dropped a 3-pointer to start the overtime.
When Henline next sank two foul shots, the Bearcats bounced out to a 53-48 lead with 3:20 left in overtime.
With Elida’s only veterans Quan Moore and Dylan Buetner battling sickness, the Bulldogs needed someone to make a big play.
Enter Riley Fricke.
Fricke canned a long 3-pointer, his only basket of the night, to get Elida within 53-51 with 2:47 left in overtime.
“He (Fricke) looks good shooting it,” Elida coach Denny Thompson said. “He’s very capable. There’s going to be a game where you look up and see Fricke hit five of them tonight. He’s that kind of shooter.
“For us to come out of there with a win, and being sick and really not playing well, it’s a huge plus on our side to come out with a win.’’
Devon Barnett then made 3 of 4 foul shots to nudge Elida into the lead 54-53 with 28 seconds to go.
Buetner sank two foul shots to cap off an 8-0 Elida run and give the Bulldogs a 56-53 lead with seven seconds left.
Spencerville also turned the ball over four times in the final two minutes.
Elida, which was coming off its runner-up finish in the Mercy Health Tip Off Classic, is 2-1.
Spencerville is 0-3.
“This can be a learning experience, but I was super proud the way they played,” Spencerville coach Kevin Sensabaugh said.
Buetner led Elida with 13 points.
Barnett had 12 points, while Riley Creps had 11 with three 3-pointers.
Dalton Prichard had 18 points for the Bearcats. Henline had 13 points.
Keegan Goecke had 10 points and eight boards. Jackson Goecke had two points and nine boards.
Both 6-2 Keegan Goecke and 6-3 Eli Harter fouled out.
“It would have been nice (in overtime) to have our two big guys in there, but they were sitting on the bench,” Sensabaugh said. “That hurt us for sure.’’
Spencerville won the boards, 34-28.
Spencerville led 21-18 at the half and built a 38-30 lead with 1:38 left in the third.
Creps’ 3-pointer got Elida within 38-33 after three.
Spencerville’s lead was 44-39 with 4:50 left in regulation.
But behind a Creps’ 3-pointer and a Tyler Long 3-pointer, Elida ripped off an 8-2 run to pull ahead 47-46 with 1:42 to play.
“Elida made some really tough contested shots,” Sensabaugh said.
The game was tied at 10 after the first quarter.
Spencerville nudged ahead 21-18 at the half.
The first half was a defensive tug-of-war, with both teams locked in with a man-to-man.
“I was proud of them, but it’s hard to see them heart broken after a tough game,’’ Sensabaugh said.
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.