Saturday, February 10th, 2007
Gagle hits winning jumper for Celina in upset win over O-G
By Mark Ruschau
A long season for the Celina boys basketball team got a little brighter Friday night as the home-standing Bulldogs used a runner in the lane by Derek Gagle with just under two seconds left to defeat the Ottawa-Glandorf Titans, 49-47, in Western Buckeye League play at the Fieldhouse.
Celina, winners of two of three, improve to 3-4 in league play and 6-10 overall while Ottawa-Glandorf is now 4-3 in the WBL and 10-6 on the season.
With the game tied at 47 with 30 seconds left in the game, Celina worked the clock down to 17 seconds and called timeout. After the timeout, the Bulldogs' Kyle White inbounded the ball to Michael Sommer who gave the ball up to Gagle at the top of the key with 10 seconds left, Gagle then drove the lane and popped a short jumper for the game-winner.
Ottawa-Glandorf had a good look at the potential game-winner as a fullcourt inbounds pass from Taylor Pothast was tipped to Justin Schoemaker whose shot came up just short.
"The biggest thing we talked about tonight was tradition," said Celina coach Chris Bihn. "We did some research this week and we found that we were 13-5 against O-G in this building since 1970, including four wins over state-ranked teams. We just talked about taking care of business and I think this win just solidifies the confidence that has been growing in these guys the last couple of weeks.
"On the last play we spread the floor and allowed Gagle to go to the hole and either take a shot or find an open guy," continued Bihn. "What I would of liked to have seen was him hit Andy Muhlenkamp on the block who was wide open. But he said that when he went up he saw Muhlenkamp was open but he thought that he did not have enough time and he thought he better shoot it. It came down to decision making and it was a good decision."
Gagle's heroics capped a wild second half which saw Celina go scoreless in the third quarter and lose a 10-point lead only to rally from a seven-point deficit.
Celina led 30-20 with 2:16 left in the half and then saw the Titans score the games next 17 points to take a 37-30 lead after three quarters of play.
The Bulldogs started their fourth-period comeback as Brian Dorsten scored four points and Sommer hit a pair of free throws to cut the O-G lead to 37-36 with 6:40 left in the contest.
Celina retook the lead as it turned three empty Titan trips into five points from Michael Sommer and a basket from Gagle for a 43-37 lead with 4:20 left.
Ottawa-Glandorf didn't go away, however, as it used a pair of free throws each from Andy Brickner and Schoemaker and a three-point field goal from Nathan Pothast to cut the Celina lead to 45-44 with 1:32 remaining in the game.
After both teams missed the front ends of one-and-one opportunities, Celina rebuilt its lead to 47-44 on a pair of Andy Muhlenkamp free throws with 42 seconds left.
Ottawa-Glandorf tied the game one last time on a Ryan Burgei three-point field goal with 30 seconds left before Gagle's game-winner.
"The way the second half went is something that we've been trying to figure out all year," said Bihn. "I think we have the ball rolling in the right direction. Coach (Jay) Imwalle made a good point at the start of the fourth quarter that defense was going to win this thing and he was right on. I thought we did a lot of good things."
Dorsten and Gagle led the Bulldogs with 12 points each while Sommer added 11 points and a game-high nine rebounds.
Celina is back in action tonight as it travels to Toledo to take on Central Catholic.