By ANDY WOLF
For The Courier
MOUNT BLANCHARD — Schyler Scherff went off for 14 points in the first quarter en route to a game-high of 24 and led Otsego to a 58-36 victory over Fostoria High School in Division II sectional semifinal Wednesday night at Riverdale High School.
The Knights (10-13) advance to take on Upper Sandusky (11-11) at 6:15 p.m. Friday for a sectional championship.
Fostoria finished its season at 2-20.
Jayden Stanton drove to the hoop, giving the Redmen a score on their first possession.
After both teams traded scores on their next possession, Stanton split a pair of free throws and Kaleb Bemis navigated through the lane for a score in transition to give Fostoria a 7-5 lead nearly 3 minutes in.
“Probably the Achilles heel of the season has been the first three minutes of the season, where we get down big,” Fostoria coach Rick Renz said regarding the early lead. “Then it was some of the same things that beat us again, as some of our shots rolled out and some of theirs rolled in.”
The Redmen failed to score over the next 5 minutes, falling behind 18-9 by the end of the quarter.
Scherff hit two 3-pointers and was 4-for-5 from the free throw line in the first quarter.
“Fostoria had their two big kids guarding our point guard, Jalen (Myers), and that gave us a mismatch inside,” Otsego coach Jim Bostdorff said. “The kids recognized it and got the ball where it needed to go.”
Senior Drew Stennett collected an offensive rebound to start the second quarter and converted the putback on Fostoria’s first possession.
But from there, the Knights went on a 10-2 run, getting five points from senior John Thomas, to lead 30-13 with less than 2 minutes remaining in the half.
Bemis scored four of the final six points in the quarter for Fostoria, which trailed 32-19 at halftime.
Bemis led the Redmen for the night with eight points and four assists.
“We tried to get them focused, but we had some kids who were trying too hard to get that quick score and get us back in,” Renz said. “We ended up rushing some shots and that ended in some transition baskets for them.”
The Knights opened the third quarter by scoring nine of the first 11 points and pulling out to a 41-21 advantage at the four minute mark.
The Redmen wouldn’t quit, scoring eight unanswered points on a pair of scores inside by Hunter Abell and additional baskets from Bemis and Jayden Matz.
After seeing their lead cut to 41-29, the Knights scored final six points of the quarter.
“I got upset and they responded by getting back to the shots we needed to take,” Bostdorff said. “We got a little three-happy in the third quarter and deviated from the plan, but we got them refocused.”
Thomas popped in seven points in the quarter and finished with 15 points on the night.
Abell finished with six points and four rebounds for the Redmen, who where outrebounded 29-13.
Myers 1-2–4, Horseman 1-0″”2, Scherff 8 6-9–24, Hosley 2-0–4, Downs 3-1–7, Keifer 1-0-2, Thomas 5-3–15. TOTALS: 21 12-20 — 58.
Stanton 1-3–5, Ka. Bemis 4-0–8, Ko. Bemis 1-0″”2, Brown 2-0–5, Matz 1-0–2, Mahan 1-0–2, Martin 1-0–2, Abell 3-0–6, Stennett 2-0–4. TOTALS: 16 3-4 — 36.
Otsego 18 14 15 11 — 58
Fostoria 9 10 10 7 — 36
3-Point GOALS: Otsego 4 (Thomas & Scherff 2); Fostoria 1 (Ko. Bemis).
rebounds: Otsego 29; Fostoria 13 (Abell 4).
turnovers: Otsego 16, Fostoria 21.