Otsego’s Noah Dzierwa, right, picks up a loose ball as Fostoria’s Bryan Stenson dives after it during Tuesday’s Northern Buckeye Conference game at Fostoria. (Photo by Michael Burwell)

By DAVE HANNEMAN

STAFF WRITER

FOSTORIA — Fostoria got off to a quick start in Tuesday’s Northern Buckeye Conference boys basketball game with Otsego.

The key word there is “quick.”

“That’s the way we like to play,” Fostoria coach Thom Loomis said after the Redmen used quick hands, quick feet and a quick transition game to run past Otsego 67-52.

“We’re not big, but we are athletic, so we have to use our quickness and pressure to speed up teams that are not necessarily inclined to play that way.”

Otsego turned the ball over seven times in the first quarter, with four of those miscues fueling a 9-2 Fostoria run that put the Redmen quickly ahead 13-2.

Fostoria capitalized on nine more Otsego turnovers in the second quarter when a 17-1 run by the Redmen saw the lead mushroom to 32-10.

“Their quickness just ate us up and we turned the ball over entirely too much,” said Otsego coach Jim Bostdorff.

“We thought we had a good game plan, but we were sloppy with the basketball. They really had us disrupted in the first half.”

Fostoria improved to 7-2 overall and 4-1 in the NBC. The Redmen could have moved into a tie for the league lead had Eastwood knocked off Rossford on Tuesday. Rossford (8-1, 5-0 NBC) won that game 57-54 to remain atop the standings, but the loss by Eastwood (7-2, 3-2) did allow Fostoria to move into sole possession of second place.

Otsego, which had won three of four games entering Tuesday’s contest, fell to 4-5, 2-3 in the NBC.

Avondre Reed led Fostoria with 27 points. The 6-foot senior made 4 of 5 3-pointers, 11 of 15 shots overall and seemed to come up with a clutch basket at just the right time. When Otsego scored eight straight points and threatened to steal all the momentum heading into halftime, it was Reed who nailed a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to boost Fostoria’s lead back to 35-18.

“He’s a heady kid. He has a very high basketball IQ,” Loomis said.

“I think the guys know they can count on him. He wants the ball in his hands and he wants to make the right decision.”

Devin Mauricio added 12 points for the Redmen, who made 53.8 percent of their shots (28 of 52) for the game. The Redmen were even hotter in the first half (16 of 25, 64 percent), but the big lead may have sapped some of their momentum in the third and fourth quarters when Otsego turned the ball over just twice and outscored them 34-32.

“Yeah we got a little full of ourselves,” Loomis said.

“Some guys hadn’t scored yet and they wanted to get their’s. We got a case of the me’s and that’s not how we play.

“We played together, unselfish basketball in the first half. In the third quarter we weren’t getting stops, we weren’t scoring, we just weren’t as aggressive with the press. I don’t have the answer why but we’ll figure it out.

“We have to be more consistent. I know that isn’t always easy for young kids. When they get a lead like that they tend to relax.

“It’s like I told them, the mark of a good team is somebody who stays consistent with that effort for four quarters, not two-and-a-half or three.”

Otsego’s Noah Keifer scored 13 of his 21 points and grabbed six of his nine rebounds in the second half. Joseph Dzierwa added 14 points and Ryan Gray had 10 for the Knights.

OTSEGO (4-5, 2-3 nbc)

N. Dzierwa 0-3 1-2 1, Harves 0-0 0-0 0, Keifer 7-12 7-10 21, J. Dzierwa 5-14 2-2 14, B. Gray 2-8 2-2 6, R. Gray 4-6 2-4 10, Corpus 0-0 0-0 0, Helberg 0-1 0-0 0. TOTALS: 18-44 14-20–52.

Fostoria (7-2, 4-1 nbc)

Settles 3-10 0-0 6, Mauricio 5-6 1-1 12, Reed 11-15 1-2 27, Ward 2-4 1-2 5, Carter-Stokes 1-1 0-0 2, Williams 1-2 0-0 2, Stenson 1-6 3-5 5, Banks 4-7 0-2 8, Fant 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 28-52 6-12–67.

Otsego 7 11 14 20 — 52

Fostoria 15 20 12 20 — 67

3-Point GOALS: Otsego 2-17 (N. Dzierwa 0-2, Keifer 0-2, J. Dzierwa 2-9, B. Gray 0-3); Fostoria 5-16 (Settles 0-6, Mauricio 1-2, Reed 4-5, Williams 0-1, Stenson 0-1, Banks 0-1).

rebounds: Otsego 31 (Keifer 9); Fostoria 29 (Banks 6, Williams 5, Settles 4, Mauricio 4).

turnovers: Otsego 19; Fostoria 12.

JUNIOR VARSITY: Otsego, 63-7.

Hanneman, 419-427-8408

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