PIQUA — Second-seeded Fairlawn wasn’t expected to have much difficulty advancing in the Division 4 Sectional Boys Basketball Tournament Friday night at Piqua, and that’s how the game unfolded.
The Jets led by 11 at the half and went on to beat the Bradford Railroaders 72-44 in the tournament’s opening game.
The win gave the Jets a 20-3 mark and put them in the upper bracket semifinals on Tuesday against County rival Botkins at 6 p.m.
Bradford finishes the season at 2-21.
The Railroaders hung tough for a quarter, hitting three three-pointers and trailing by just 17-13 after eight minutes of play. Fairlawn scoring phenom Nathan Lessing had nine points in the opening period for the Jets.
In the second quarter, Drew Brautigam got going and scored seven points to lead the Jets, who outscored the Railroaders 20-13 to open up an 11-point halftime lead.
The Jets built on the lead from there, including outscoring Bradford 19-6 in the final quarter.
Lessing finished with 33 points for the Jets and that included 9-for-10 from the free throw line.
Brautigam added 12 points and Josh Reck chipped in 10.
Bradford (44) — Smith 13, Millhouse 12, Swobb 7, Bronson 4, Brewer 1, Phillips 7.
Fairlawn (72) — Lessing 33, Reck 10, Curtner 5, Johnson 6, Corner 1, Hickman 5, D. Brautigam 12.
Score by quarters:
Three-pointers: Bradford 6 (Smith 3, Millhouse 3); Fairlawn 4 (Lessing 2, Curtner, Hickman).
Records: Fairlawn 20-3, Bradford 2-21.
Next game: Tuesday, sectional semifinals at Piqua at 6 p.m. vs. Botkins.
JC 47, Mississinawa 39
PIQUA — Mississinawa Valley won the opening tip and showed the Jackson Center Tigers what its game plan was— be patient.
And it succeeded for a while, the game being scoreless until late in the opening quarter.
But the Blackhawks were unable to score at all in the opening period, so the Tigers never trailed in the game, and built up enough of an advantage to survive advance on to the upper-bracket sectional semifinals with a 47-39 victory over the Blackhawks.
The Tigers improve to 16-6 after their sixth consecutive victory and will be back in action Tuesday at 7:30. They will take on the winner of Friday’s third game between Ansonia and Covington.
“They are a patient team and we knew that going in,” said Jackson Center coach Scott Elchert. “We were very good defensively, but it seemed like every time we’d get it up to 10 or 11, they would knock it back down. But it was a win and it was good to get that first tournament game behind us.”
The Tigers had three players in double figures, led again by 6-foot-6 standout Brady Wildermuth, who wound up with 22. Bryce Sosby added 11 and Trent Platfoot 10.
Jackson Center (47) — Platfoot 10, Booser 2, Sosby 11, Wildermuth 22, Winner 2.
Mississinawa (39) — Bowman 12, Perkins 10, Howell 7, Johns 5, Swob 2, Scholl 3.
Score by quarters:
Three-pointers: JC 5 (Sosby 3, Platfoot 2); Mississinawa 5 (Bowman 2, Perkins, Johns, Scholl).
Records: JC 16-6, Mississinawa 8-15.
Next game: Tuesday, sectional semifinals at Piqua at 7:30 vs. Covington-Ansonia winner.
There are three more games on tap tonight in the D-4 Sectional at Piqua.
Top-seeded Russia starts it off at 5:30 against Mechanicsburg, then third-seeded Fort Loramie plays Riverside.
In the nightcap, Lehman will play Triad, with game time set for 8:30.