VANDALIA — Houston had the toughest challenge of any area boys basketball team for a tournament opener in Dayton Stivers, which finished first in the perennially stout Dayton City League.
The No. 20 seed Wildcats gave No. 2 seed Stivers fits throughout a Division III sectional opener on Saturday at Vandalia-Butler’s Student Activities Center but couldn’t pull off an upset. The Tigers (17-4) pulled away late to beat Houston 58-43.
The Wildcats led 24-23 at halftime and were within four points with just under four minutes left in the game. Houston was forced to foul late, and Stivers hit 5-of-7 free throws in the fourth quarter to pull away.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the fight that our team showed today,” Houston coach Mark Platfoot said. “We did a good job of executing our game plan and giving ourselves a chance late in the game. … We had to foul and in the last minute and 30 seconds, and that led to the final score.
“This was a tough loss, but I really appreciate how hard our kids played this year.”
Houston built a 13-7 lead by the end of the first quarter thanks in part to five points by Peyton Arnold and four points by John Leist. Leist scored eight in the second to help Houston hang onto a one-point lead heading into the locker room.
Stivers hit three 3-pointers in the third to power an 18-9 scoring advantage. Houston made it a game late before the Tigers pulled away.
“The third quarter, Stivers came out and hit a couple of 3s and got us on our heels a little, but we fought back,” Platfoot said.
Leist led Houston with 22 points while Arnold finished with 15. Both are among six seniors the team will lose to graduation. The team’s other seniors are Tristin Freistuhler, Dominic Beaver, Howie Ludwig and Wyatt Mohler.
Houston finishes 7-16 overall.
Minster 76, Parkway 41
Minster’s 17-6 start after the first period carried the Wildcats to a home Midwest Athletic Conference rout of Parkway in the team’s regular-season finale on Friday.
The Wildcats finish regular-season play 15-7 overall and 6-3 in MAC play, good for a third-place tie with Coldwater and Delphos St. John’s.
Minster had four players in double digits, led by 17 points from Jarod Schulze. Jack Heitbrink scored 14, Mike Ketner added 13 and Noah Enneking added 10. Cody Frericks grabbed 13 rebounds and Schulze blocked six shots.
Coldwater 61, New Bremen 27
Coldwater got off to a 23-5 start after the first period en-route to a big MAC win in the Cardinals’ final regular-season game.
Nick Wells, Bryce Blickle, Nolan Bornhorst and Jacob Rindler scored four points each for the Cardinals, which finish 8-14 overall and 2-7 in MAC play. New Bremen finishes tied for eighth in the conference with Parkway.
Sidney girls season ends at sectionals
Sidney’s girls bowling squad saw its season end on Friday after finishing 17th out of 20 teams in the sectional tournament. The top nine teams earned district berths.
Camryn Smith shot a 456 series and missed qualifying for districts as an individual by seven pins. Emma Hurley shot a 406 series and Sarah Bell shot a 358 series.
“Not a great showing today, but the future is bright,” Sidney coach Trent Knoop said. “We have five freshmen and a junior on varsity. We are very young, and the girls want to get better. I look for them to get in plenty of practice this offseason and get back next year even better. We have plenty of raw talent. Just got to improve on a few areas.”
Coaches can report results for Sidney Daily News’ daily roundups by sending scores, statistics and comments as soon as possible after games to firstname.lastname@example.org.