Boys basketball: Hegemier claims 600th win as St. Marys sneaks past Spencerville

SPENCERVILLE – A strong second half effort led St. Marys to its fourth consecutive win and Dan Hegemier’s 600th in his long-tenured career.

Thirty-eight years ago, Hegemier made his head coaching debut at Waynesfield-Goshen. Over the course of nearly four decades, Dan has made pit stops also at Spencerville, Fort Loramie and New Knoxville and before settling down a second time at St. Marys.

“I have been fortunate to be at places that have had really good players, and it all comes down to the players and the coaching staff,” Hegemier said about his 600th career win.

Hegemier’s Roughrider (5-1) squad entered play Friday night at Spencerville High School looking to end the 2023 calendar on a positive note and help achieve their head coach’s milestone, but St. Marys struggled to find a pace in the first half.

It was a battle of big men in the paint as St. Marys’ Evan Angstman and Spencerville’s Carter Sudhoff went to work immediately. Angstman finished with six points in the quarter, and Cobain Owens worked in four points before heading to the bench with an ankle injury.

Evan Osting connected on the first of three makes from downtown before Spencerville’s big man clocked into work. Sudhoff was unstoppable at the basket with 10 of the 17 Bearcat points in the first quarter, when Spencerville (4-3) led 17-14.

“Carter (Sudhoff) does a great job; our guards were drawing a lot of attention and that allowed him to find the open basket,” Spencerville coach Kevin Sensabaugh said.

The Bearcats stretched out their advantage to 11 points thanks to three-point plays by Will and Owen Sensabaugh before St. Marys’ Owens returned to the floor to provide a spark the Roughriders needed.

Brennan Steger was responsible for the lone St. Marys basket in the second quarter before Owens checked back into the game. Owens erupted for eight points to bring the Riders within seven at the break. Spencerville held the advantage at halftime, 32-25.

“He (Cobain Owens) has been playing better and better each night,” Hegemier said. “He has been attacking the rim a lot more; that is something that is natural to him. He had a great game last week against Marion Local and again tonight against a good team.”

The Roughriders made adjustments at halftime and were able to limit Spencerville’s offensive success. Jace Turner and Evan Angstman found success inside the paint, and Owens added a three before St. Marys claimed its first lead.

Noah Payne had four points in the contest, and both of those baskets came in big spots. With 2:18 to play in the third, Payne found net to give St. Marys the 38-37 advantage. When time expired in the penultimate quarter, the visiting Roughriders led 40-39.

“Noah (Payne) is a good shooter; he averages 13 points a game and was a little off tonight, but that happens some nights. He made them when we needed a shot,” Hegemier said.

All five starters contributed in the fourth quarter for St. Marys, which led at one point by six points midway through the fourth. Osting knocked down his third triple of the night, and Carder Orr found his first successful three-point field goal of the season with 1:14 to play to put the Bearcats ahead 50-47.

Evan Angstman sealed the deal after a basket and two free throws under the 30-second mark.

“We found out what they were doing, and once we were able to counter their inside attack, we got our hands in the passing lanes a lot tonight to prevent their offense from being consistent,” Hegemier said.

St. Marys returns to action Saturday night at home against Findlay, with a ceremony planned between the junior varsity and varsity games to acknowledge the 600th victory for Hegemier.

Spencerville takes the floor next Friday night at home versus Leipsic in Northwest Conference action.

St. Marys 54, Spencerville 50

St. Marys 14 11 15 14 – 54

Spencerville 17 15 7 11 – 50

St. Marys

Cobain Owens 18, Evan Angstman 14, Jace Turner 8, Alexander Hoenie 5, Brennan Steger 5


Carter Sudhoff 20, Evan Osting 11, Owen Sensabaugh 6, Carder Orr 5, Will Sensabaugh 4, Grady Smith 2, Michael Woods 2

Nate Stidham wrote this for