JAMESTOWN — Even without leading scorer Wyatt Bensman and a long bus ride, Anna’s offense didn’t slow in a nonconference game at Greeneview on Saturday.
The Rockets used a big first quarter to put the game away early in a 61-49 win.
Anna was up 12-0 before the Rams could get on the board. After a 5-4 run by Greeneview, Bart Bixler hit a jumper and after a steal and Griffin Doseck nailed a 3-pointer to push Anna’s lead to 21-8.
“The kids played a good game tonight and our underclassmen stepped up,” Anna coach Nate Barhorst said. “We needed these kids tonight with Wyatt Bensman out with a severely sprained lower ankle.
“… This team we played tonight was solid. Their point guard (Jack Nix) frustrated us in the first half and they have some others also. Last night they beat (Springfield Catholic Central), which was their second loss of the year.”
Nix had nine points at the half and finished up with 12 for the Rams. He was effective by beating his man and driving to the hoop and getting layups. Nix scored two times in the second quarter, the last of which cut Anna’s lead to 32-23 with 2:00 left in half.
But Riley Huelskamp got a big Anna run started with a 3-pointer from deep on the baseline and then got a steal and made a layup. Anna added three more points before the final buzzer to push its lead to 40-26 after two quarters.
Nix started the third quarter with a three-point play to cut Anna’s advantage. Anna’s Mason Platfoot drained his fourth 3 of the game and Doseck hit a jumper to push the Rockets lead to 16.
Platfoot was the high scorer for Anna with 16 points, including making 4-of-7 3-pointers. The Rockets were perfect from the foul line, going 8 for 8.
Greeneview cut its deficit late as 6-foot-7 post player Mason Schneider nailed a 3 to bring the Rams within nine points. Schneider was 4-of-8 from 3’s and a perfect 3 for 3 from the foul line. Schneider also had seven rebounds and used his height to his advantage. He also had a dunk in the third that wowed the home crowd.
“We went to a semi stall late in the game as we missed a couple of layups that we should have made,” Barhorst said. “We ran a lot of time off the clock. Unselfish play on our part. We just ran the offense.”
Sophomore guard Bart Bixler led Anna with 11 points and four rebounds. Sophomore point guard Riley Huelskamp scored 10 points and had five rebounds. Huelskamp and was a factor on defense, as he held Nix to three second-half points. Doseck also had 10 points and four boards.
Collin Wilson scored nine for the Rams and hit 3-of-3 from the foul line. Greeneview was also perfect from the charity stripe, going 12 for 12.
Anna is now 15-4 for the year while Greeneview falls to 10-9. The two Division III teams could face each other again in the sectional tournament. The tournament draw is on Sunday.
The Rockets return to action on Friday at Botkins and have a big Shelby County Athletic League game at Fort Loramie next Saturday. Anna won the first matchup between the two teams by four points in overtime on Jan. 23.