MEIGS — Jacob Ruth was hot from the behind the 3-point line, Braden Bockway was his usual self, Tanner Voiers pieced together a solid night and Shiloah Blevins brought the house down with a one-handed rim-rocker.
Tuesday night was a good one for South Webster.
The Jeeps handed Eastern Meigs a 63-50 loss in a Division IV sectional final at Meigs High School, claiming their third consecutive sectional title.
South Webster (13-10) hadn’t played a game in nearly two weeks, coming into Tuesday’s contest. That long layover, and the potential to overlook Eastern Meigs, had coach Brenton Cole on edge.
But it all worked out in the end.
“If you don’t win this one, you don’t get to play the next one,” Cole said. “That’s what I’ve tried to keep the guys focused on. That long lay off had me real nervous. It was fairly nerve racking for me. But now, we get to keep playing and, hopefully, keep this ball rolling.”
Early and often, the Jeeps used the 3-ball to haunt Eastern Meigs’ defense. With Blevins double-teamed in the post, his teammates were open on the perimeter.
Overall, the Jeeps ended the night with 10 3-point field goals.
“I don’t want to say we hang our hat on the 3, but nights like tonight, we’re hard to stop,” Cole said.
However, while South Webster’s offense was on point, its defense experienced a couple of lapses … something Cole says his team will work on before taking the floor at the Convo.
“50 points is too much for me. But hats off to Eastern Meigs. They kept playing hard and that’s a really good team, well-coached,” Cole said. “We just weren’t jumping to the ball enough and we weren’t getting over on help side. Any screen, we’d land right into. So definitely on defense, we need to get over and make sure we’re taking away the cuts.”
Tale of that tape
The Jeeps started the night on a 6-0 run behind two 3’s from Ruth and Voiers at the 5:09 and 4:16 marks in the first quarter. That was a common theme with Ruth, who hit two more 3’s at the 1:58 and 1:16 marks before South Webster took a 12-4 lead into the second.
“Jacob picked a great night to come out hot in the first quarter,” Cole said. “They kind of took Shiloah away and the rest of our guys crashing, backside … just different little things we know how to do, we did. So it was great for us to see.”
In the second, Trae Zimmerman made it 17-8 with a putback before Blevins extended the lead to 19-8 with two free throws. Later, Voiers hit a 3 with 2:25 to go, and hit another at the buzzer, to give the Jeeps a 28-13 lead heading into halftime.
More of the same took place in the third, where at one point, the Jeeps had a 16-point lead at 47-31 after Ruth got a bucket and a foul shot to fall. From there, South Webster cruised to a 13-point win and another sectional title.
Ruth and Bockway both ended the night with 16 points while Voiers added 11 points and five assists. Blevins was also a factor, scoring six points and grabbing a game-high 13 rebounds.
Isaiah Fish led all scorers with 19 points for Eastern Meigs (11-12) while Collin Barringer scored nine points and grabbed nine rebounds.
What’s on tap
The Jeeps advance to a Division IV district semifinal, where they’ll face New Boston at 2 p.m. on March 2 at Ohio University’s Convocation Center.
Back on Dec. 1, the two teams faced off with South Webster holding onto a 63-61 win.
“We all have to step up,” Cole said. “Like today, Ruth stepping up, Trae getting some shots and backdoors … everybody has to step up. We have to have seven guys, maybe eight, play well against a team like that in order to get a win.”
Eastern Meigs: 4-9-16-21 — 50
South Webster: 12-16-15-20 — 63
Eastern Meigs: 20-52 FG, 5-8 FT, 5-16 3pt., 30 rebounds (Barringer 9), 9 turnovers, 4 assists (S. Facemyer 2). Scoring: Fish 19, Barringer 9, S. Facemyer 7, Reynolds 7, Dishong 4, Dill 2, B. Facemyer 2.
South Webster: 19-47 FG, 15-20 FT, 10-25 3pt., 29 rebounds (Blevins 13), 10 turnovers, 13 assists (Voiers 5). Scoring: Ruth 16, Bockway 16, Zimmerman 14, Voiers 11, Blevins 6.