DAYTON — Fort Loramie head coach Corey Britton made sure his kids knew after Thursday night’s tough overtime loss that they deserved to be playing at the University of Dayton Arena for a district championship.
“Our kids, I can’t say enough about the way they handled adversity, and kept fighting and battling,” he said. “We told them in the locker room they deserved to be here and deserved to be playing for a district championship. They just came up a little short.”
The Redskins couldn’t close it out despite being up by six with 2:21 remaining and still by four with only 20 seconds on the clock.
But Southeastern got a stickback bucket with four seconds remaining to sent the game to overtime, and then jumped out on top by five right away in the extra session. The Redskins weren’t able to come back from that and dropped a 79-71 verdict to finish the season at 13-13.
Southeastern is now 23-2 and advances to take on Jackson Center Tuesday at 5:30 at Kettering’s Trent Arena in the Division 4 regional semifinals. Jackson edged Cincinnati Christian 46-43 Wednesday night to advance.
The Redskins got the best of things for most of regulation against the Trojans, and appeared to be in great shape with those late leads. When Drew Wehrman hit a three-pointer with 2:21 remaining in regulation, the lead was six. But some missed free throws prevented the Redskins from extending the lead even more.
They were up four with 20 seconds left when Southeastern got a three-pointer. Loramie then converted one of two free throws to make it a two-point game, setting the stage for the game-tying bucket.
“We didn’t communicate on a screen and they got a point-blank shot, but the kid missed it,” said Britton. “But they got a backside rebound and put it back in with four seconds left.”
That sent it to overtime, and Southeastern kept its momentum.
“We talked about not turning the ball over in overtime, but we got the tip and turned it over right away,” Britton said.
Southeastern took advantage, hitting a three-pointer, and after the Redskins misfired on two free throws, the Trojans hit a two to make it 68-63.
Loramie’s 6-foot-7 sophomore Tyler Siegel, who had an outstanding game, was whistled for an offensive foul, and the two free throws made it 70-63 with 2:17 remaining.
Siegel hit two free throws with 2:11 left to cut it back to five, but Southeastern was money at the free throw line all night, and that included the overtime. And that prevented the Redskins from getting any closer than five the rest of the way.
Siegel had a monster game for the Redskins, scoring 19 points and pulling down 15 rebounds. Dillon Braun and Evan Berning had 15 points apiece and Wehrman finished with 11.
The Redskins were 19 for 32 from the free throw line, compared to 20 for 24 for Southeastern.
Fort Loramie jumped out to a 17-9 lead to start the game, only to have the Trojans score the final six points of the opening quarter to make it 17-15 after one.
The Redskins again dominated the early going in the second quarter and led 25-17 at one point. They were up 35-29 with time running out in the half but Southeastern’s Colton Spears hit a three-pointer at the horn to cut it to three.
It was tied late in the third quarter when the Trojans’ Jake Bertemes hit another deep three-pointer near the buzzer to give the Trojans a 45-42 lead heading to the final period. But when Wehrman hit a three with 2:21 left in the game, the Redskins were up 61-55.
Bertemes was 6 for 10 from three-point range and finished with 33 points for the Trojans.
Southeastern was 25 for 59 from the field for 42 percent and Loramie 22 for 46 for 48 percent. Southeastern held a slight 35-33 edge on the boards.
Fort Loramie (71) — Wehrman 11, Berning 15, Rosengarten 5, Braun 15, Siegel 19, Gasson 6.
Southeastern (79) — Bertemes 33, Spears 13, King 9, Lyons 19, South 2, Toops 1, Greene 2.
Score by quarters:
Three-pointers: Fort Loramie 8 (Wehrman 2, Berning 2, Braun 2, Rosengarten, Gasson); Southeastern 9 (Bertemes 6, Spears 3).
Records: Fort Loramie 13-13, Southeastern 23-2.