By SHANNON DOVE
BLOOMDALE — Physical is one way to describe Elmwood and Fostoria High School’s boys basketball game on Friday. “Spirited” was Elmwood coach Ty Traxler’s word.
Jonathan Duvall scored 12 points in the fourth quarter — all from the foul line — and Josiah Childress scored 20 points to lift Elmwood past Fostoria 67-58 in Northern Buckeye Conference action at Elmwood.
“I’m proud of the grit and determination that our team showed down the stretch,” Traxler said. “It was, to say the least, let’s say it was spirited. It was a spirited contest between two teams that are wanting to continue to get one day better.”
Spirited, indeed: Fostoria (4-8, 2-4 NBC) was charged with 13 fouls in the fourth quarter and two technical fouls in the game. Each team lost a player to injury with Elmwood’s Austin Minich going down at 4:36 of the second quarter, and two players from Fostoria, Alex Sierra and Dylan Sheets, taking hard falls in the second half.
Sheets returned, and Sierra did for limited minutes. Minich did not return and his condition was unknown after the game.
“We had to overcome a lot of adversity,” Fostoria coach Thom Loomis said. “We didn’t shoot it well early. It was extremely physical, we had foul trouble, we had to overcome injuries. I did not have a full squad in the fourth quarter, and we battled right to the end.”
A see-saw first quarter ended tied at 14 points apiece. Avondre Reed scored two from the free-throw line and Aneas Cousin added a free throw to put the Redmen up 17-14 at 4:58 of the second. Childress finally got the Royals (7-4, 5-2 NBC) on the board with a jump shot at 3:59 and from that point Elmwood outscored Fostoria 13-5 to take a 29-22 halftime lead.
Casey Snow put the Royals up by 10 points at 5:50 of the third and Childress followed to extend the lead to 36-24, but Fostoria’s Reed scored the next trip up the court to bring the Redmen back within 10 at 36-26.
Sierra was charged with Fostoria’s first technical foul at 3:41 and Duvall scored one of the two foul shots. Maalik Tucker then sparked a Fostoria rally, scoring six of the next eight points with four from the field and two from the free-throw line, cutting Elmwood’s lead to 37-34.
Bryan Stenson scored a fast break layup after an Elmwood turnover, bringing Fostoria within three once again at 39-36. After Nolan Laube scored for Elmwood, Stenson had another layup, this time drawing the foul, but missed the and-1 and the differential remained 41-38 at the end of the quarter.
“I thought that Devin Mauricio and Bryan Stenson did an outstanding job for 30 minutes of shutting down Jonathan Duvall, their best player, their leader, their sparkplug. I thought we did a great job,” Loomis said.
Stenson scored twice early in the fourth to put the Redmen up for the first time since the first half at 42-41.
“My guys gave it everything they had and we just didn’t quite have enough to get over the hump,” Loomis said. “We took the lead in the fourth quarter, we battled all the way back, and then the whole tenor of the game changed.”
Things got even more physical. Fostoria continued to score from the field, as did Elmwood, but the Royals also took 22 trips to the foul line in the fourth, converting 16 times. Meanwhile the Redmen were a dismal 10 of 20 for the game from the charity stripe.
“Today, I thought both teams just battled like crazy right down to the end,” Traxler said. “They refused to go away. We built it up to 10 points in the second half, (then) all of a sudden we’re down one. It was definitely a game of runs. I just thought down the stretch we were gritty, we fought. Everything didn’t go our way, but we were able to gut it out.”
Elmwood’s Laube, in particular, had a standout performance. He scored 13 points off the bench for the Royals. Prior to Friday, his season total was 11 points.
“The reason he was successful is he did not play scared,” Traxler said. “He was a machine around the basket and the guys started finding him, they started driving and dishing to him and he did a great job finishing through contact.”
Reed led all players with 21 points while Stenson finished with 12 and Tucker with 11.
Fostoria crushed Elmwood in the junior varsity game 65-33. Dom Settles led the Redmen with 19 points while E.J. Williams added 11. Daniel Beck paced Elmwood with 8 points.
FOSTORIA (4-8, 2-4 NBC)
Sheets 0-0–0, Mauricio 2-1–5, Reed 8-3–21, Sierra 2-2–6, Cousin 1-1–3, Stenson 6-0–12, Ward 0-0–0, Tucker 4-3–11. TOTALS: 23-50 10-20 — 58.
Elmwood (7-4, 5-2 NBC)
Childress 9-2–10, Duvall 1-13–16, Snow 2-0–4, Lentz 1-3–5, Taft 1-0–2, Abke 0-1–1, Weiss 2-0–4, Lawson 1-0–2, Laube 6-1–13. TOTALS: 23-42 20-27 — 67.
Fostoria 14 8 16 20 — 58
Elmwood 14 15 12 26 — 67
3-Point GOALS: Fostoria 2-12 (Reed 2); Elmwood 1-7 (Duvall)..
rebounds: Fostoria 27 (Cousin 7); Elmwood 25 (Childress 6)..
turnovers: . Fostoria 14; Elmwood 17
junior varsity: Fostoria, 65-33.