Controversial call late in the
fourth quarter leaves Van Wert up in arms
By RYAN HINES
The last two times that Celina and Van Wert met on the hardwood,
it came down to the last possession to determine a winner.
Both times Celina came away a winner and the Bulldogs made it
three straight wins in tight ball games against Van Wert on
Friday at the Fieldhouse as the Green and White held off the
Celina improves to 3-1 on the season and 1-0 in the Western
Buckeye League while Van Wert drops its first contest of the
year and stands at 3-1 overall and 0-1 in league play.
Close games have become a yearly event when the Bulldogs and
Cougars lock up, much to the dismay of Van Wert head coach Dave
“There always seems to be an unusual play when we play
here (Fieldhouse) and it always seems to go against us,”
said a visibly upset Froelich after the game. “The officials
made a horrible call at a crucial time of the ballgame and Celina
made their free throws down the stretch to win it.”
The controversial call that Froelich was referring to came with
1:20 to go in the fourth quarter when Van Wert’s Kyle
Holliday drove the lane for what appeared to be two points and
a potential three-point play which could have tied the score.
However, the official under the basket called Holliday for an
offensive foul negating the two points and sending the Cougars
fans into an uproar.
Van Wert’s John Moonshower and Celina’s Tim Homan
exchanged a pair of free throws before the Cougars’ Kyle
Holliday was only able to convert one-of-two leaving the Scarlet
and Grey down 56-54 with 37 ticks of the clock remaining.
Celina’s Joe Kanney hit a pair of free throws to build
the lead back to four points and Van Wert’s Rian Rainey
hit a driving layup with 21 seconds left leaving the Cougars
down two points, 58-56.
The Bulldogs’ Brian Gagle drained two more charity tosses
to build the lead back to four points with just 18 seconds to
go in the game before Holliday added a meaningless basket for
the the Cougars at the buzzer.
After blowing a nine-point lead at the beginning of the fourth
quarter, Celina used a perfect night at the free-throw line
to win it for the Bulldogs. Celina hit all 14 of its free throws
for the game, including nine-of-nine in the fourth quarter.
“Tonight’s game came down to defensive stops late
and making free throws,” said Celina head coach Mike Kanney.
“That’s how you win games.”
Homan led Celina with 15 points on the night while Scott Boley
added 14 points, Kanney with 13 points and Gagle with 11 markers.
“I think that we did a pretty good job on Homan tonight,
but the rest of their players like Scott Boley and Brian Gagle
came up with some big shots at key moments,” said Froelich.
“We need balance to be the best team that we can be and
tonight we got balance from a lot of players,” stated
Kanney. “I think that our kids’ eyes light up when
they see that the defense is going to focus on Tim (Homan).
They all stepped up and played aggressively.”
Rainey led all scorers for Van Wert with 18 points while teammates
Moonshower and Rick Ditto added 16 and 13 points, respectively.
Celina is back in action tonight at home against Greenville.