Monday, January 28th, 2008
By Ryan Hines
Bulldogs make it two in a row
Those in attendance at the Fieldhouse on Saturday certainly got plenty of bang for their buck.
A freshman game, a junior varsity contest, a Hall of Fame induction ceremony, a gymnastics halftime show and an exciting varsity game that wasn't decided until late in the fourth quarter.
The night ended well for Celina fans as the Bulldogs rallied from an eight-point fourth-quarter deficit to outlast Piqua, 54-53.
It's the second straight win for Celina, which is now 6-10 on the season, while Piqua dips to 8-8 for the year.
A second straight strong defensive effort by the Bulldogs in the fourth quarter paved the way for the home win.
"For the second straight night, we played really good defense down the stretch and that gave us the opportunity to win the game," said Celina head coach Chris Bihn.
Celina's defense forced two Piqua turnovers in the final 1:27 and the Bulldogs took advantage of the opportunity.
The Bulldogs whittled Piqua's eight-point lead early in the fourth quarter to just three at 53-50 with 1:27 left in the game.
Derek Coon pulled Celina to within one point at the 1:04 mark by making a one-handed floater on the baseline from what looked like an impossible angle.
A second straight Piqua turnover gave the ball back to Celina and the Bulldogs called timeout with 50 seconds left to play.
Celina got Michael Sommer with a one-on-one situation in the post and the junior came through with a deuce off the glass on a strong move to the basket to put the Bulldogs on top 54-53 with just over 12 seconds on the clock.
Piqua had plenty of time to find a good final shot, but Celina had committed just two personal fouls in the second half and Coon was able to disrupt the Indians' offense with a pair of fouls.
With four seconds left, Piqua's Dan Wilson wiggled free from the Celina defense for an open three-pointer, but it was off the mark giving Celina the win.
"We turned the ball over twice in the last minute and a half and they get open layups on the other end and our lack of focus really cost us the game," said Piqua head coach Marcus Bixler. "We let a win slip away tonight because we didn't execute down the stretch."
Sommer was nearly unstoppable with a game-high 21 points, on 10-of-13 shooting, to go along with eight rebounds.
"They really utilized him nicely when they needed a bucket and he was just a mismatch for us with his size and athletic ability," said Bixler.
Sommer also had another highlight reel play, with his best dunk of the season in the second quarter. Derek Gagle lobbed an inbounds pass from under the basket to a soaring Sommer, who hammered the ball through the rim with two hands.
Gagle joined Sommer in double figures for Celina with 12 points.
David Rolf was a beast in the post for Piqua, scoring a team-high 17 points to go along with eight rebounds, six of which came on the offensive glass. As a team, Piqua had 17 offensive rebounds.
"I talked about their offensive rebounding all night with our guys, but they (Piqua) are a strong team and they fought for every ball," said Bihn. "You can't allow that many offensive rebounds in a game because usually it comes back to bite you."
Celina will try to make it three wins in a row when the Bulldogs host the Lima Bath Wildcats on Friday at the Fieldhouse for a Western Buckeye League matchup.
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