Div. III sectional: Anna fights off feisty Dixie for 68-55 win


Rockets led by eight at halftime and fought off Dixie rally

By Robert Billing - For the Sidney Daily News



Anna’s Griffin Doseck shoots as Dixie’s Seth Grubb defends during a Division III sectional quarterfinal at Vandalia on Saturday.

Anna’s Griffin Doseck shoots as Dixie’s Seth Grubb defends during a Division III sectional quarterfinal at Vandalia on Saturday.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Anna’s Drew Brodman looks to pass with pressure from Dixie’s Seth Grubb during a Division III sectional quarterfinal at Vandalia-Butler on Saturday.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

VANDALIA — As the saying goes, survive and advance is the ultimate goal for every team come tournament time.

And while Anna did more than that and pushed its final margin of victory over New Lebanon Dixie to 13 points in a Division III sectional quarterfinal at Vandalia’s Student Activities Center on Saturday, the game was still closer than the team wanted.

Anna, the No. 3 seed in the 23-team Dayton D-III sectional, beat No. 19 Dixie 68-55 to advance to a second-round game against Springfield Northeastern. The Rockets will face Northeastern at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday at Butler.

“I told the kids at halftime that we needed to get control of this game,” Anna coach Nate Barhorst said. “Our lead was just by eight points (34-26). They were the underdog but they came out to played hard and executed. We did get some points off turnovers and that helped us.”

A pair of sophomore guards kept Anna in control for the most part, with Bart Bixler hitting 7-of-8 shots and Riley Huelskamp scoring 4-of-5 from the field. Bixler also added 5-of-8 free throws to lead the Rockets in scoring with 19 points. Huelskamp finished with eight points and seven rebounds.

Wyatt Bensman scored 16 points and had five rebounds. Griffin Doseck scored nine points along with six rebounds.

Dixie ended with three players fouling out, which did not go over well with the Greyhound staff as a technical foul called on the bench. DJ Shockley netted 10 points for the Greyhounds, hitting two 3-pointers as Dixie tried to rally late.

Dixie guard Devin Worley was on a mission to keep Dixie in the game and it almost worked. He was 8-of-14 from two-point range and also cashed in on three long 3-pointers and two free throws to finish with 27 points. He avoided getting in foul trouble unlike some of his teammates.

The Rockets (19-4) will try for a bigger win on Wednesday against No. 20 Northeastern. The Jets finished regular season 5-17 overall and were 3-13 in Ohio Heritage Conference play.

“Not sure about them, but they would like nothing better than beating us for a long bus ride home,” Barhorst said. “We played okay at times today, but we’re looking for that attitude.”

The Greyhounds earlier in the season were 1-16 before winning five of their last six games.

Dixie has an illustrious tournament history. The Greyhounds won Class A state championships in 1962 and 1966 under legendary coach Columbus Hines. In 1987, Dixie had an undefeated team that faced the Dayton Jefferson and lost in a regional title. That team was led by former University of Dayton players Wes Coffee and Kenny Branch.

Anna’s Griffin Doseck shoots as Dixie’s Seth Grubb defends during a Division III sectional quarterfinal at Vandalia on Saturday.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2018/02/web1_SDN022518AnnaBbballLG2-2.jpgAnna’s Griffin Doseck shoots as Dixie’s Seth Grubb defends during a Division III sectional quarterfinal at Vandalia on Saturday. Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Anna’s Drew Brodman looks to pass with pressure from Dixie’s Seth Grubb during a Division III sectional quarterfinal at Vandalia-Butler on Saturday.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2018/02/web1_SDN022518AnnaBbballLG1-2.jpgAnna’s Drew Brodman looks to pass with pressure from Dixie’s Seth Grubb during a Division III sectional quarterfinal at Vandalia-Butler on Saturday. Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News
Rockets led by eight at halftime and fought off Dixie rally

By Robert Billing

For the Sidney Daily News