In the first meeting of the season, the Redstreaks were victorious 82-61. In the second match-up the Streaks pulled out a 64-46 win. Coming into the game, Saturday, Piketon had never lost a tournament game to a team that it defeated twice during the regular season. And they had no intentions of changing that.
This time the game would be much closer than the first two contests . The Redstreaks defeated Westfall 78-71 to capture the Division III Southeast District crown. The win gives Piketon its first district title since 1992.
“I told our kids it wasn’t going to be easy,” Piketon coach Jeff Lisath said. “It’s one of those types of games where they’re going to keep coming after us and they did. Hats off to our kids for hanging in there. We didn’t fold when they made a run late.”
The seven-point margin was the exact edge the Streaks had in the points off turnovers column. Both teams committed 13 turnovers in the game, but Piketon scored 17 points off of Mustang turnovers, while the Mustangs only managed 10 off of Piketon miscues. The Redstreaks also had a huge edge at the charity stripe. Piketon shot 26-for-41 from the line and Westfall went 13-for-23.
The win takes Piketon to 22-2 on the season and takes it to the regional semifinals where the Streaks will face the North Adams.
The 2008-09 campaign for Westfall ends with a mark of 17-6.
Piketon was led by Jordan Brabson who notched a double-double with 32 points and 15 rebounds.
“When we got in foul trouble we told (Brabson) he had to take over,” Lisath said. “He went out there and did everything we could possibly ask. He had a double-double, hit baskets when we really needed them and hit his free throws down the stretch.”
Cody Smith had 17 points and grabbed nine boards. Evan Legg also reached double figures in the scoring department with 12.
For the Mustangs, four players scored in double figures. Tyler Kritsch led the way with 18 points. Tyler Cobb checked in with 15. Bryant Gibson added 13 and Tyler Burleson had 10.
The story in the fist half was Piketon’s dominance in the paint and the Streaks cashing in on their second-chance opportunities. Piketon outscored the Mustangs 22-10 in the paint in the first half and outscored them 11-3 in second chance points.
But by the end of the ball game, all of that had changed. Westfall finished with a five-point edge in the paint and trailed the Streaks in the second-chance point category.
"I thought we ran out of gas at one point,” Lisath said. “We got a big lead, and we didn’t have the conditioning I thought we had to finish the job.”
The Mustangs fought back in the third quarter. Caleb Southworth was whistled for his fourth foul with 2:47 to go in the period and Keenan Brush fouled out just 24 seconds later to leave Piketon short one of its inside players for the last 10 minutes of the contest. With 1:55 left in the stanza, the lead had been trimmed so six and by the end of the quarter Piketon’s 14-point halftime lead had dwindled to four.
In the fourth quarter the lead shrank to three with 6:01 remaining. After building the lead back to four, Piketon stretched the lead to nine, 70-61, with help of a 5-0 spurt over a 1:14 span in the final period.
Westfall wasn’t going away without a fight and the gritty Mustangs chipped away and had the lead back to five, but that would be as close as Westfall would get as Piketon advanced on the Division III Regional Tournament.
Piketon will play their next game against the winner of Zane Trace or North Adams Wednesday at 6:15 p.m. at OU’s Convocation Center
BRET BEVENS can be reached at (740)-353-3101 ext. 242
Piketon 20 17 17 24 — 78
Westfall 9 14 27 21 — 71
Piketon – Brush 2 0 4, Brabson 12 7 32, Legg 2 8 12, Smith 5 7 17, Southworth 1 0 2, J. Vulgamore 1 1 3, K. Helton 2 1 6, J. Helton 0 2 2; Totals 25 26 78.
Westfall – Gibson 3 7 13, Kritsch 9 0 18, Ty. Burleson 3 2 10, Tr. Burleson 2 38, Cobb 7 1 15, T. Smith 2 0 4, Z. Smith 1 0 3; Totals 27 13 71.
3-pointers – Piketon 2 (Brabson, K. Helton); Westfall 4 (Ty. Burleson 2, Tr. Burleson, Cobb)
Record – Piketon 22-2; Westfall 17-7