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03-04-04: Bulldogs sink Bobcats with free-throws

Homan moves into second place on Celina’s all-time scoring list


A second-quarter spurt and a great night at the free-throw line helped Celina roll past Bowling Green 67-53 in the Division I sectional semifinal at Liberty-Benton High School on Wednesday.
Celina is now 17-4 on the season and will meet Anthony Wayne on Friday at Liberty-Benton starting at approximately 8:30 p.m. following the first game featuring Perrysburg and Lima Sen-ior. Anthony Wayne, which was under .500 for the season, pulled a 52-48 upset over Findlay to reach the sectional finals. Bowling Green ends its season at 14-7.
Celina built a 10-6 lead midway through the first quarter, but foul trouble hit the Bulldogs hard as Tim Homan was called for his second personal foul sending the senior to the bench.
Bowling Green took immediate advantage of Celina’s foul trouble by running its offense through the post where Jimmy Green scored on three straight possessions for the Bobcats and led 12-10 after the first eight minutes of action. In the three possessions that Homan was on the bench, Celina was 0-of-2 from the field with a turnover allowing the Bobcats to grab the lead.
Homan came back into the game to start the second quarter and the Celina offense regained its momentum scoring the first nine points of the second quarter, capped by a Joe Kanney three-pointer, to regain the lead at 19-12.
Bowling Green responded with back-to-back three-pointers from Michael Graffin to get within one point at 19-18 but that’s when Celina made its game-deciding run.
With 3:18 to go before halftime, Scott Boley hit two free throws, Adam Tindall hit a short jumper and Homan also connected on a jump shot to build a 25-18 lead.
Bowling Green got two free throws from Brandon Radabaugh, but Tim Homan scored four straight points to give Celina a 29-20 lead at halftime with the last of Homan’s two points coming on a great inbounds play.
Brian Gagle was under the BG basket and rifled a baseball-style pass to the Celina end of the floor where Homan outjumped a Bobcat defender and drove to the basket for a deuce in just over two seconds to cap Celina’s 10-2 going into the intermission.
Celina built its lead to as many as 15 points in the second half and the Bulldogs were able to put the game away with an astonishing performance from the free-throw line.
Bowling Green cut Celina’s lead to as few as seven in the fourth quarter, but the Bulldogs converted on 12-of-13 free-throw attempts in the final quarter to coast to the victory. Celina hit 23-of-25 from the charity stripe for the game, good for a sizzling 92-percent clip.
“I knew that we were pretty good at the line during the game and you have to make free throws to win big games,” said Celina head coach Mike Kanney. “We take free-throw shooting very seriously and we work hard on it and I think that it’s paid off. Our kids have confidence when they step to the line.”
Homan led the charge at the free-throw line by making eight-of-nine while Kanney connected on all six of his free tosses.
It was a balanced offensive attack for Celina as Homan hit for a game-high 22 points while Kanney scored 16 points and Boley 10 points.
Bowling Green head coach Von Graffin had nothing but praise for Homan and the rest of the Bulldogs.
“Homan had to earn all of his points tonight, but he is the best player that we have played against all season long,” lauded Bowling Green head coach Von Graffin. “The scorers in our league are very selfish players and Homan gets his points in the flow of the offense and he screens for others.
“We knew that Boley and Kanney were capable shooters because we scouted them eight times during the season. I think that we had them figured out but we made too many mistakes in the game,” added Graffin.
“Our seniors stepped up and made plays when they had to,” stated Kanney. “We made some big shots along the way and when we can get scoring like we did tonight, that takes a lot of the pressure off of Tim (Homan). I have a lot of confidence in all of our guys right now.”
The 22 points from Homan also moved the senior into second place on the all-time scoring list at Celina as the Montezuma native moved past another Montezuma native in Mike Reichert. Homan now has 1,094 points in his career and is now just 33 points shy of tying Jay VanderHorst for the top spot on the all-time scoring list at Celina.
As usual, Homan was humble about his milestone on Wednesday.
“I didn’t know how many points that I needed to get into second, but they (teammates) let me know in the locker room. I think that it will mean more in a few years,” said Homan. “Like my dad said, in 20 years when I talk to my kids, I can say that I’m the second-leading scorer at Celina and that’s an honor.’ Whatever happens for the rest of the year happens, but I just want our team to keep winning.”
“It couldn’t happen to a better kid,” said Kanney. “He spends so much time working on his game during the season and in the off season and he’s just a good all-around kid. He’s just a super individual and I’m very happy for him.”
Green led Bowling Green with 18 points while Graffin added 12 points to go along with Mike Frye and Ryan Hoehner who finished with 11 and 10 points, respectively.


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P.O. Box 140, Celina, OH 45822


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