By TED RADICK
VAN BUREN — McComb and Pandora-Gilboa played an overtime game in the final Blanchard Valley Conference game of the season on Feb. 19, with P-G coming out on top 60-52.
The Panthers and Rockets liked overtime so much, they did it again in Friday’s Division IV district quarterfinal at Van Buren. Then, they played more overtime. And then, some more.
In three overtimes, McComb defeated Pandora-Gilboa 48-46 to advance to Tuesday’s district semifinals at 8 p.m. at Findlay High. McComb (11-10), seeded sixth in the district will play No. 2 seed Columbus Grove (17-5), a 77-35 winner over Cory-Rawson in Friday’s nightcap.
Of note in the second game, Columbus Grove’s Tayt Birnesser set a school record with 10 3-pointers and finished with 36 points.
In the opener, McComb outscored P-G 6-4 in the third overtime. Pandora-Gilboa took a 46-45 lead after a Riley Larcom layup with 2:15 to go in the third OT, but the Rockets never scored again.
“Our goal was to hold them under 40,” McComb coach Nick Latta said. “We got them at 46 after three overtimes … I’ll take it.”
Jared Dillon put the Panthers up 47-46 with a layup, and the team traded turnovers. The Rockets, with the clock winding down to 15 seconds remaining in the third overtime, were forced to foul.
“We were chasing, trying to force a turnover or foul the right guy,” Pandora-Gilboa coach Joe Braidic said. “We ended up fouling (Tyler) Durfey.”
McComb’s Durfey hit the second free throw of the double bonus to put the Panthers up 48-46.
“Still, we had 13 seconds left,” Braidic said. “That’s plenty of time. We told them where to run, everybody knows we’re going to give the ball to Jared (Breece), and people got in his way. We weren’t spaced enough for anyone to get a shot off.”
Breece, who finished with a game-high 17 points, got a shot off just before the buzzer but missed.
“The last game, Breece had 26 points on us, and he got a lot of them by driving, getting in the lane,” Latta said. “We wanted to limit him tonight. He ended up with 17, that’s nine less than he had the last time.”
Tanner Schroeder led McComb with 14 points despite sitting a good chunk of the second half with four fouls.
“I thought when Tanner got his fourth foul, we’d get to play four minutes without him,” Braidic said. “They played four minutes without him, it went from us being up seven points to us being up three. That killed us. That was probably the difference in the game.”
Aaron Davis had 10 points, and Tristan Sherick and Kyle Wasson each had eight points for McComb. Wasson and Schroeder each had six rebounds.
Larcom had 15 points and 11 rebounds for Pandora-Gilboa.
In the second game, Columbus Grove used a Gabe Clement 3-pointer to grab a quick 13-1 lead, extended that to 21-3 after a quarter and led 40-13 at halftime.
“We knew we wanted to play fast,” Grove coach Chris Sautter said. “If they could make it a possession game and slow it down, we knew they could hang around. We wanted to speed them up, try to force some turnovers, and get out and run in transition.”
Birnesser finished with a game-high 36 points and broke the old Grove record of eight 3-pointers in a game set by Connor Kohl. On the girls side, Kenzie King had eight treys in a game earlier this season.
“So, now he has the overall, undisputed record,” Sautter said.
Birnesser had one 3-pointer in the first quarter, three in the second quarter, five in the third and one in fourth before exiting.
“We game him the green light to shoot,” Sautter said.
“They played great defense on us, and they were scoring buckets and shooting really well,” Cory-Rawson coach Dean Birchmeier said.
Clement scored 16 points for Grove and Blake Reynolds had 11 rebounds.
Matthew Roth led Cory-Rawson (9-15) with 14 points.
Schroeder 6-1–14, Davis 4-1–10, Durfey 1-2–4, Sherick 1-5–8, Dillon 2-0–4, Wasson 3-2–8. TOTALS: 17 11-16 — 48.
Breece 6-5–17, Miller 2-0–5, Larcom 5-3–15, George 2-4–9. TOTALS: 15 12-25 — 46.
McComb 8 13 2 11 6 2 6 — 48
Pandora-Gilboa 9 4 17 4 6 2 4 — 46
3-Point GOALS: McComb 3 (Schroeder, Davis, Sherick); Pandora-Gilboa 4 (Larcom 2, Miller, George).
rebounds: McComb 31 (Schroeder & Wasson 6); Pandora-Gilboa 27 (Larcom 9).
turnovers: McComb 14; Pandora-Gilboa 18.
Roth 5-4–14, Schultz 2-1–5, Houck 2-1–6, Stauffer 3-0–6, Bacon 1-2–4. TOTALS: 13 8-12 — 35.
Columbus Grove (17-5)
Reynolds 2-2–6, Birnesser 13-0–36, Hopkins 2-0–5, Clement 7-0–16, Flores 1-1–3, Halker 1-0–2, Smith 1-0–3, Schnieder 2-0–4, Johnson 1-0–2. TOTALS: 30 3-5 — 77.
Cory-Rawson 3 10 12 10 — 35
Columbus Grove 21 19 27 10 — 77
3-Point GOALS: Cory-Rawson 1 (Houck); Columbus Grove 14 (Birnesser 10, Clement 2, Hopkins, Smith).
rebounds: Cory-Rawson 15 (Schultz & Bacon 3); Columbus Grove 27 (Reynolds 11).
turnovers: Cory-Rawson 13; Columbus Grove 4.