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Monday, January 22nd, 2007

Indians make Hall of Fame night a victorious evening

By Gary R. Rasberry

The first induction class of the Fort Recovery Athletic Hall of Fame was present. . .

FORT RECOVERY - With some of the great names in Fort Recovery basketball - Bryan, Heiby, Souder, Knapke and Bihn - looking on, the Fort Recovery Indians looked to snap a four-game losing streak in facing state-ranked Ansonia at the Fort Site Fieldhouse on Hall of Fame Night.
A 14-2 run to end the second quarter put the Indians up 11 at halftime and the hot shooting continued as the Indians knocked off the Tigers, 65-53.
The win puts the Indians at 7-5 on the season while, the Tigers, ranked 10th in the most recent AP poll, suffer their second-straight loss to fall to 10-4 on the season.
"It was a big team win. It wasn't just one guy who stepped up," said Indians coach Brian Patch. "The kids had a meeting before the game. They wanted to turn this thing around. Tonight was a big game for that to happen. They decided together they would do it."
The Indians trailed 16-8 shortly after the second quarter started. From there, though, things began to change. Within a span of 31/2 minutes, the Indians were able to take their first lead of the game when Clint Tobe's bunny made it 21-20 with 3:19 left.
After an Ansonia miss, Aaron Kahlig scored on a drive to make it 23-20. The run continued as Kahlig made two free throws and Greg Kahlig got into the action to push the run to 11-0.
The Indians capped the first half when Greg Kahlig's buzzer-beating three-pointer put the Indians up 33-22 at the break.
"Obviously, when you're on the other half of those runs, it feels good," said Patch. "We've always had the ability to make that run if we shoot the ball well enough. Tonight, we were able to hit the shots. To cap that off, we were able to defend."
"They came out and hit some shots," said Ansonia coach Chad Cramer of Fort Recovery. "They played well and picked up the intensity defensively, starting in the second quarter. It really caused our guys to struggle and get into our sets."
The hot shooting did not extinguish with the halftime break. Bobby Rammel, who hit three straight three-pointers in the second quarter, added another in the third quarter as the Indians were up as many as 17 in the quarter.
Looking deep onto the bench, Patch found Frank Thien and Matt Tobe to play big minutes as the Indians suffered from foul trouble. The pair came up with five big points as Tobe scored and was fouled, making the free throw. Thien - pronounced tin - was good as gold, getting a bucket of his own and scoring four points on the night, quadrupling his season average.
"We told them any one guy on the bench has to be ready to go because it could be your night to make a difference," said Patch. "Tonight it was Frank and Matt. It made a difference."
The Indians had as much as a 21-point lead in the fourth quarter as Aaron Kahlig had six of his 12 points in the final stanza.
One big key for the Indians was their defensive pressure as Fort Recovery forced 17 turnovers against the Tigers.
"We were able to defend better tonight than we have in past," said Patch, whose squad turned the ball over just nine times and only twice in the first half. "That's what we told the kids. It basically comes down to attitude and effort."
Clint Tobe was 4-of-5 from behind the three-point line, leading the Indians with 19 points. Rammel, 4-of-8 from beyond the arc, added 16 while Toby Metzger had a solid night in running the offense, dishing out 10 assists.
Beisner was 10-of-15 from the field to lead all scorers for Ansonia with 27 points while McEldowney added 11.
Fort Recovery returns to action on Friday, hosting Marion Local.
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