Boys basketball: Jackson Center playing well early


Hot-shooting Tigers beat Fort Loramie 50-42

By Bryant Billing - [email protected]



Jackson Center’s Jace Mullenhour shoots over Fort Loramie’s Caleb Maurer during a Shelby County Athletic League game on Tuesday in Jackson Center. Mullenhour scored 15 points.

Jackson Center’s Jace Mullenhour shoots over Fort Loramie’s Caleb Maurer during a Shelby County Athletic League game on Tuesday in Jackson Center. Mullenhour scored 15 points.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Jackson Center's Lucas Heitkamp grabs a rebound in front of Fort Loramie's Devin Raterman as Fort Loramie's Bryson Roberts provides backup at Jackson Center on Tuesday.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Fort Loramie’s Alex Boerger attempts to drive around Jackson Center’s Jace Mullenhour during a Shelby County Athletic League game on Tuesday in Jackson Center.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Fort Loramie's Ethan Albers attempts to drive around Jackson Center's Grant Elchert at Jackson Center on Tuesday.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Jackson Center’s Nolan Fark reaches for a loose ball while covered by Fort Loramie’s Alex Boerger during a Shelby County Athletic League game on Tuesday in Jackson Center. Fark scored 20 points.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

JACKSON CENTER — Jackson Center’s strong shooting has been a load for opponents so far this year. Fort Loramie was the latest to try to deal with the load on Tuesday and wasn’t successful.

Jackson Center built a 10-point lead by halftime and pushed its advantage as high as 15 in the second half of a 50-42 victory. The win which increased its overall record to 5-1 and its Shelby County Athletic League record to 3-1.

The Tigers have won five straight since losing 42-41 at Russia in a season opener. Two eight-point wins have been the closest games during the winning streak.

“Any time a team sees the ball going through the net, it helps out in all phases of the game,” Jackson Center coach Scott Elchert said. “… We feel like with this particular team, one of our strengths is shooting, and we have multiple guys who can. At any one time, we have five guys out on the floor who shoot it well.

“In order for us to be at our best, we do count on some guys knocking some 3s in. I’m very comfortable with any of the eight guys we’re currently playing, if they have the open look, take it. And we’ve gotten very good at sharing the basketball, too.”

The Tigers, which have three returning starters from last year’s 19-7 campaign, shot over 50 percent from the floor on Tuesday.

Senior guard Nolan Fark led the squad with 20 points while senior guard Jace Mullenhour added 15 and junior Lucas Hartle scored eight. All three are among seven returning letterwinners.

Fark made three of the team’s seven 3-pointers and created shots off the dribble. He was a steady scorer, with 10 points in each half.

Fark also defended Fort Loramie senior guard Caleb Maurer for most of the game. Maurer, who is the Redskins’ leading returning scorer, finished with 18 points after scoring 10 in the fourth quarter.

“Nolan is one of those guys we expect a lot out of,” Elchert said. “We expect him to D up and we expect him to do things for us offensively. He answered the call tonight. Quite honestly, a lot of those points Caleb had didn’t end up being on Nolan, because of a switch or something like that.”

Jackson Center led 14-9 at the end of the first quarter and used a 15-10 scoring edge in the second to take a 29-19 halftime lead.

The Tigers pushed their lead to 43-28 heading into the fourth and led by 15 points until Maurer hit consecutive 3’s and then made a pair of free throws to cut the gap to seven points. Jackson Center missed a pair of one-and-one opportunities during that stretch that could have stopped the 8-0 run.

But Fark and Hartle combined to make 3-of-4 free throws down the stretch to secure the win.

It was the first loss for Fort Loramie (2-1, 0-1), which had a delayed start to the season after the football team’s deep playoff run.

The Redskins have seven returning players from last year and four returning starters, including Maurer. They have six players on the roster 6-foot-3 or taller, including senior forward Austin Pleiman (6-5) and senior forward Logan Eilerman (6-4).

Despite a height advantage on Tuesday, Jackson Center rebounded well, especially defensively. Fort Loramie had a 22-18 rebounding edge unofficially, seven of which came on the offensive end.

“Fort Loramie is tall, they’re strong, and we talked about how we better be able to go up and get a rebound,” Elchert said. “You might have to help your teammate out once in a while, too, because one of the guys may have a check, and somebody else has to come and get the rebound, because they’re not easy to check and rebound at the same time.”

The Tigers are scheduled to host Indian Lake (3-2) on Saturday in a nonconference game. They’ll travel to Fairlawn on Dec. 23 and host Houston on Dec. 30 to finish their first round of SCAL play.

They’re scheduled to begin the second round of league play on Jan. 6 when they host Russia (5-0, 3-0 SCAL).

“We’re getting there,” Elchert said. “We’ve still got some growth we can do. With each game, our three guys who are coming off the bench are continuing to get better and give us more and more positive minutes, and I feel like all three of them gave us very good minutes tonight.”

Fort Loramie is scheduled to host Fairlawn on Friday, Versailles on Saturday and St. Henry on Tuesday.

Jackson Center’s Jace Mullenhour shoots over Fort Loramie’s Caleb Maurer during a Shelby County Athletic League game on Tuesday in Jackson Center. Mullenhour scored 15 points.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/12/web1_DSC_6230.jpgJackson Center’s Jace Mullenhour shoots over Fort Loramie’s Caleb Maurer during a Shelby County Athletic League game on Tuesday in Jackson Center. Mullenhour scored 15 points. Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Jackson Center’s Lucas Heitkamp grabs a rebound in front of Fort Loramie’s Devin Raterman as Fort Loramie’s Bryson Roberts provides backup at Jackson Center on Tuesday.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/12/web1_DSC_6282.jpgJackson Center’s Lucas Heitkamp grabs a rebound in front of Fort Loramie’s Devin Raterman as Fort Loramie’s Bryson Roberts provides backup at Jackson Center on Tuesday.Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Fort Loramie’s Alex Boerger attempts to drive around Jackson Center’s Jace Mullenhour during a Shelby County Athletic League game on Tuesday in Jackson Center.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/12/web1_DSC_6199.jpgFort Loramie’s Alex Boerger attempts to drive around Jackson Center’s Jace Mullenhour during a Shelby County Athletic League game on Tuesday in Jackson Center. Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Fort Loramie’s Ethan Albers attempts to drive around Jackson Center’s Grant Elchert at Jackson Center on Tuesday.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/12/web1_DSC_6189.jpgFort Loramie’s Ethan Albers attempts to drive around Jackson Center’s Grant Elchert at Jackson Center on Tuesday.Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Jackson Center’s Nolan Fark reaches for a loose ball while covered by Fort Loramie’s Alex Boerger during a Shelby County Athletic League game on Tuesday in Jackson Center. Fark scored 20 points.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/12/web1_DSC_6119.jpgJackson Center’s Nolan Fark reaches for a loose ball while covered by Fort Loramie’s Alex Boerger during a Shelby County Athletic League game on Tuesday in Jackson Center. Fark scored 20 points. Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News
Hot-shooting Tigers beat Fort Loramie 50-42

By Bryant Billing

[email protected]

Contact Bryant Billing at (937) 538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.

Contact Bryant Billing at (937) 538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.