By MATT NYE
Elmwood took a step forward Friday night with a 68-44 Northern Buckeye Conference blowout of host Fostoria High School.
The Royals, like the Redmen, have little experience among their players, but an 8-for-12 shooting performance from behind the 3-point arc helped them improve to 2-11 overall and 1-6 in the conference. Fostoria fell to 2-10 and 0-7.
“We are playing a lot of young kids and at the beginning of the season we knew this was going to be a learning experience,” Elmwood coach Ty Traxler said. “We haven’t had to do this in a while, as we’ve had plenty of success over the last 11 or 12 years, but I think it’s coming back around. These kids are buying in to whatever we are trying to coach them. Mainly, it is just their confidence is starting to build.
“These are really good basketball players, but their confidence level is really high right now. We recently took Rossford down to the wire, and they are around the top of our league, and played Gibsonburg well as they shot 72 percent against us, so we’ve been seeing strides, not necessarily in wins and losses, but I was glad they got to enjoy a win tonight.”
On the other hand, the loss prompted Redmen coach Rick Renz to tell his team “to step up and start doing what we need to do.”
“I was just disappointed because what we’ve been seeing in practice didn’t show itself on the floor tonight,” Renz said. “When you play a team like Elmwood, I know they have a bad record, but they are going to be ready to play physical and once we got down it seemed like we were just reacting to them rather than them reacting to us out there. In the first quarter, for example, I think it took us at least five minutes to get a rebound, while they had five or six offensive rebounds. That does not take any skill to box out. We need as a team to work on the fundamentals and then carry them over to the game. We have to see guys diving for loose balls, boxing out, getting tough rebounds, penetrating the ball and kicking it to the open guy.”
Tayte Lentz and Phlllip Buckingham made three 3-pointers apiece while leading Elmwood with 15 and 13 points, respectively, coming off the bench. Deven Peter chipped in 10 points and six assists and Jarrett Childress had five rebounds.
Elmwood struggled early to find much offense inside, but nailed three 3-pointers in the opening frame. Lentz subbed in off the bench with 15 seconds left in the period and then drained a trey with 6.1 seconds left, helping the Royals gain a 15-9 lead after one period.
Buckingham subbed in with five minutes left in the second period and poured in 10 points, including a pair of threes for Elmwood, which upped the count to 33-20 at halftime.
Fostoria could never get the deficit below double figures the rest of the way.
Kobey Bemis led the Redmen with 12 points and four steals, while Kaleb Bemis had nine points and three assists. Hunter Abell pulled down a game-high six rebounds. “At this point in the season, there isn’t a learning curve anymore,” Renz said. “You know what you need to do and you need to get it done, simple as that. When a team tied for the bottom of the league comes into your gym and blows you out, it is clearly unacceptable. We are going to come out tomorrow at practice and go hard. I fully expect us to have the best game we play all year on Friday because we are going to push them this week the hardest we’ve ever pushed them.”
Robbins 0-0–0, Peter 5-0–10, Lentz 5-2–15, Aufdencamp 1-0–2, Childress 2-2–7, Baxter 1-2–5, Buckingham 5-0–13, Arnold 0-1–1, Camden 1-0–2, Jones 2-0–4, Solether 2-4–9, Palmer 0-0–0. TOTALS: 23-44 11-15–68.
Stanton 0-0–0, Kaleb Bemis 2-5–9, Kobey Bemis 5-1–12, Brown 1-2–5, Medina 0-4–4, Matz 0-0–0, Mauricio 2-0–5, Renz 0-0–0, Martin 1-0–2, Abell 1-3–5, Stennett 0-2–2. TOTALS: 12-46 17-28–44.
Elmwood 15 18 17 18 — 68
Fostoria 9 11 15 9 — 44
3-Point GOALS: Elmwood 8-12 (Lentz 3, Buckingham 3, Baxter, Solether); Fostoria 3-11 (Kobey Bemis, Mauricio, Brown).
REBOUNDS: Elmwood 36 (Childress 5); Fostoria 25 (Abell 6).
TURNOVERS: Elmwood 16; Fostoria 13.
JUNIOR VARSITY: Fostoria, 51-45.#
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