The Sailors used a second half surge to knock off the T-Y Tygers of Mansfield Senior Wednesday 59-51, in the District Semi-Final at Madison High School.
The Tygers looked hot early in the contest, following a 2-2 tie early, they would go on an 8-0 run to take a 10-2 lead on the Sailors. Reese Miller would then connect on a triple to end the Tygers run but they still had their offense rolling in the first. The Sailors would cut the Tygers lead to 3, but the Tygers would respond right back. The Sailors defense picked up from there, holding the Tygers to 6 points down the stretch of the first, but they could never grasp the lead. The Sailors would score 12 of their own, including a late three from Jonah Pfeil and the Sailors would trail by 1 heading to the second.
The Tygers would be the first to strike in the second, as they connected on a three, but the Sailors would keep it close throughout the quarter. The Tygers connected on another three to push their lead to 28-23, which would be their biggest lead of the second quarter, but the Sailors would outscore the Tygers 6-4 for the remainder of the quarter. The Sailors trailed by three, 32-29, at the break.
The Sailors would be the first to score in the second half trailing 32-31 early and we had ourselves a ball game on our hands. The Tygers would answer the Sailors bucket, but it would be the Sailors who would score the next 4 points, to give themselves their first lead of the game at 35-34. The Sailors would would pushed their lead to 3 midway through the quarter, but the Tygers would fight right back, and we were all tied up at 38 apiece. The Tygers and Sailors would then go basket for basket, before the Sailors closed out the quarter on a 5-0 run, capped by a three by Sterling Benko, to lead 45-42 heading to the fourth.
The Tygers would quickly take a 47-46 lead in the early stages of the fourth, but it would be the Sailors defense who would flex their muscles the remainder of the quarter. The Sailors would hold the Tygers to 4 points down the stretch of the quarter. Seth Hurd would knock down a pair of free throws, to tie the game up at 47 all as the Sailors were in the middle of what became a 9-0 run. The Sailors found themselves with their biggest lead of the night as they led the Tygers 55-47. Miller would knock down a pair of three throws, which were sandwiched by two Tyger layups, but the Sailors still led 57-51 late in the fourth. Pfeil would go on to ice the game knocking down a pair of free throws, and the Sailors would advance to their first District Championship game since the 2014-15 season.
Pfeil led all scorers with 20 points, and grabbed 4 rebounds to along with 4 assists. The Tygers attempted to take away Mason Montgomery who had a quiet 12 points (4-5 from the line), 7 rebounds, and 4 assists. Miller would go on to finish the night with 9 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists. Luke Pena finished the night with 6 points and 6 rebounds (3 offensive). Seth Hurd chipped in 5, Zach Kovach had 4 points and 4 rebounds, and Benko rounded out the Sailor scoring with 3.
The Sailors (19-5) will look to punch their ticker back to the Bowling Green Regional for the first time since the 2013-14 season on Saturday afternoon. The Sailors will take on top seeded Norwalk on Saturday in what would be a rematch from that regional game in 2013-14. The game is scheduled to start at 2:30.