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Saturday, February 18th, 2017

An Instant Classic!

Fort Recovery outlasts Minster in quadruple overtime

By Gary R. Rasberry

Fort Recovery's Matt Bihn, 21, and Cade Wendel, 14, try to take the ball away fr. . .

FORT RECOVERY - After each of the first three overtimes, Fort Recovery coach Chris Guggenbiller said his squad was smiling and wanting to keep on playing.
The Indians and Minster battled for four overtimes. After 48 minutes of action, both teams gave their all as Fort Recovery picked up the 86-82 win at Fort Site Fieldhouse.
"I was telling them 'Be in the moment. Enjoy the moment,' " Guggenbiller said after his team improved to 13-7 and 5-3 in Midwest Athletic Conference play. "This is something special. You don't run across a high school game that goes four overtimes very often. Live it, love it and enjoy it. You play loose like that and good things happen."
While the loss hurts, Minster coach Michael McClurg knows that the fortitude shown by his team in the game will help the team as tournament time draws near.
"I think it made us better," McClurg said as his team fell to 10-9 and 4-4. "I would have liked to see us pull it out, but at the end of the day, a lot of things added up - a missed free throw here, a turnover there - in the overtime."
Minster trailed by eight midway through the fourth quarter and needed big plays to force the first two overtimes.
Down 49-41, Aaron Ernst hit a three-pointer, made a free throw and added another basket within a 26-second span to get the Wildcats to within two at 49-47. Just as quick, though, Micaiah Cox made it a six-point game with four straight points of his own.
Fort Recovery tried to fend off every Minster attempt to tie the game, but with 16.1 seconds left, Ernst hit another three-pointer to cut it to 60-59. Payton Jutte hit two free throws with 11.5 seconds left to make it a three-point game. With Ernst under double pressure, Isaac Dorsten, who had not attempted a three-point shot all season, hit a trey at the buzzer to send the game into overtime.
"He more than held his own in there," McClurg said of Dorsten. "He's a strong kid."
The Indians took the lead quickly in the first extra session on free throws by Cox and Caleb Martin, followed by a Cox layup to make it 68-62. A Dorsten free throw and two straight Ernst baskets cut the deficit to 68-67. Jared Huelsman tied the game at 68-all with a free throw with 53.1 seconds left. Fort Recovery looked inside to Cox, who was fouled and made both free throws with 35.8 seconds left to make it 70-68. Minster missed a tying shot, which was rebounded by Jason Roessner. However, Roessner missed both free throws with 8.1 seconds left as Bryce Schmiesing got the rebound, drove the lane and was fouled with no time remaining. Staring into the boisterous Fort Recovery student section, Schmiesing calmly knocked down both shots to force a second overtime.
"Our guys are battling," McClurg said. "They refused to let Fort Recovery run with it. They stuck with it. A lot of teams would have rolled over, but our guys didn't do that."
The second overtime started like the first, with Fort Recovery jumping out quickly 74-70. Minster came back with free throws from Ernst and Huelsman to cut it to 74-73 with 52 seconds left. Fort Recovery lost the ball on the ensuing possession and Huelsman hit a three-pointer with 30 seconds left to give Minster a 76-74 lead. Jutte was fouled and hit two free throws to tie the game. Minster was unable to get the game-winning shot to fall to send the game to a third overtime.
Fort Recovery took an early 77-76 lead on a Martin free throw, but Cody Frericks drove the lane and scored to put Minster up 78-77 with 3:10 but missed the free throw on the hoop-and-harm play. Fort Recovery missed a shot on its possession as Minster tried to hold the ball to force Fort Recovery to foul. Instead, Roessner got a steal and got the hoop-and-harm three-point play converted with 2:25 left to put Fort Recovery up 80-78. Minster again refused to concede as Ernst was fouled with 1:37 left and made both free throws to tie the game at 80. Neither team could get a shot to go to end the game, so another overtime was in order.
"It was guys stepping up and making plays when plays needed to happen," Guggenbiller said. "It's guys stepping up and picking up their teammates when their teammates fall. We've been preaching all year."
Martin put Fort Recovery up 82-80 with free throws, only for Frericks to tie the game on the bucket. Cox, held scoreless in the third overtime, got a basket to fall to put the Indians in front. After Minster missed a tying shot attempt, the Indians went into the stall to force the Wildcats to foul. Jutte was fouled and made 1-of-2 with 61 seconds left to make it a three-point game. Huelsman tried a trey but missed as Jutte got the rebound and was fouled with 4.1 seconds to go. Jutte missed the first, but made the second to ice the game.
"Fort Recovery and Minster have a special thing going back and forth right now. It's extremely fun to be a part of it. It goes beyond the basketball court," Guggenbiller said. "To be able to get just enough at the end to get the victory, hats' off to the kids."
Cox finished his night with 33 points and nine rebounds. Jutte had a strong game to finish with 23 points. Martin added 11.
Ernst finished with 28 points. Dorsten, who came into the game averaging 4.7 points per game, finished with 18 points and nine rebounds before fouling out late in the game. Jarod Schulze finished with 11.
Fort Recovery hosts McComb tonight in non-conference play. Minster wraps up the regular season next Friday at home with Parkway.
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