It's been a wild roller coaster of emotions for Seddelmeyer in the last several hours.
This morning his wife gave birth to a set of twins just seven hours before Seddelmeyer's Waverly Tigers were to take on the No. 1 team in the state with a Division II Sectional Championship on the line at Southeastern High School.
Waverly and McClain are not strangers when comes to tournament competition. In fact, this is the third time the two teams have matched up in the sectional round since 2000.
In 2000, McClain defeated Waverly on its way to a district championship, an accomplishment the Tigers hope to duplicate this season. In 2003, Waverly upset McClain at Chillicothe High School to cut down the nets and advance to the Convocation Center in Athens.
McClain was led by Xavier recruit Dante Jackson who tallied 26 points, 15 coming before the break. Jackson also grabbed nine rebounds and had five assists and five steals. Trevor Walls had 14 points in the contest to lead Waverly.
In the first quarter, the teams played evenly, but a Justin Hilton steal and lay-up with time winding down gave Waverly a one-point edge heading into the second quarter. The second period saw two runs, one by each squad. The Tigers kept the top-ranked team in check for the first five and half minutes of the second quarter and had a 12-point lead.
Then the purple and gold, led by Jackson, rattled off 13 points, including Jackson nailing a 3 to take a 26-25 lead into the lockerroom.
“You got to give Waverly a lot of credit,” said McClain head coach Rick VanMatre said. “They had things going their way. Fortunately for us, Dante (Jackson) hit a couple of big 3s and swung the momentum our direction during halftime. Then we played a pretty solid second half.”
The run continued into the third quarter as McClain started the second half off on a 12-3 tear. Over a stretch of 7:36, McClain turned a 12-point deficit into a nine-point lead. The purple and gold was able to convert Waverly turnovers into points in the third stanza to pad its lead to 16 heading into the fourth quarter.
McClain extended its lead in the fourth quarter, and hit its free throws down the stretch to come away with the 20-point win. McClain will advance on to the district semifinals to take on Logan Elm.
“We came out with a lot of energy.” VanMatre said. “We lost there at the end of the first quarter and couldn't find it again until two minutes to go in the second quarter.”
Waverly's season ends at 16-5.
“I could not be prouder of a group of kids,” Seddelmeyer said. “I need to thank the coaching staff. It's been a little crazy, not knowing if I was going to be here at all, but coach Robertson, coach Hobbs came through had these guys as ready as they could be.”
Seddelmeyer thought his team played with top ranked team in Division II.
“We gave Greenfield anything they wanted and everything they wanted,” he said.
Seddelmeyer believes the game was closer than the score.
“A 20-point game does not show the way this game was tonight,” he said. “That goes back directly to out players and our coaches. I'm a puppet out front.
“They found their touch there with 2:13 left,” Seddelmeyer added. “We had some of our players on the bench with foul and they hit some big free throws down the stretch. They're the No. 1 team in the state for a reason. We gave everything they wanted.”
With this victory, McClain captured its fourth consecutive sectional crown.
“We have had some wonderful players that has made this happen. It's not just Dante, it's been a lot of players,” VanMatre said.
BRET BEVENS can be reached at (740)-353-3101 ext. 243.
Waverly 14 11 8 10 - 43
McClain 13 13 23 14 - 63
Waverly - Ra. Conley 3 0 6, Williamson 1 3 5, Deacon 1 0 2, Ro. Conley 2 3 7, Hilton 4 1 9, Walls 6 2 14; Totals 17 9 43.
McClain - Howard 1 7 9, Washburn 1 0 3 Dalty 2 0 4, Jackson 11 1 26, Taylor 6 0 14, Webster 3 0 6, Carson 0 1 1; Totals 22 8 63
3-pointers - Waverly none. McClain 6 (Jackson 3, Taylor 2 , Washburn)
Record - Waverly 16-5. McClain 22-0