H-L finishes sweep of Senecas

BASCOM – Calvert rolled a couple of sevens and they were both losers here Friday night. It’s been that kind of year.

It wasn’t all that lucky of a night for Hopewell-Loudon, but the Chieftains found enough of the right combinations on the floor to go with a successful Coaches-vs.-Cancer fundraiser and finish with a 45-37 Midland Athletic League win.

The victory lifted the Chieftains above the .500 mark overall at 8-7 and in the league at 4-3 while dropping Calvert to 3-13 and 2-5.

“It’s Hopewell-Loudon and Calvert and you’ll always take two wins over Calvert,” said Chieftain coach Adam Smith, whose club opened the season with a 70-61 non-league decision of the Senecas in Tiffin in early December.

“Somebody came down, shook my hand and said ‘You’ve had the best season ever,'” he said. “It doesn’t matter if you win another game; you beat Calvert twice.’ I don’t know about that one, but that shows it’s still a big rivalry.”

It was the Senecas who had the upper hand much of the first half, however.

Mike Bennett scored seven first-quarter points and Jared Thompson added the other four as Calvert led 11-7.

Bennett opened the second period with a 3-pointer, then fed Thompson for a score and when Austin Ball also hit a 3-ball, the Calvert margin was 19-12 with 3:41 left in the half.

That was actual accounting. The problem for the Senecas was what got away from them.

“We had seven missed layups the first half,” Calvert coach Ted Willman said with a shake of his head. “The gameplan we had, the kids did a great job executing it. I feel stupid saying that about a game we lost by eight.

“But the problem was, we didn’t finish,” he said. “We executed and did a great job of getting the kind of shots we wanted. But we missed seven layups. That’s the difference between being down by one at half or leading by 13.”

Calvert was down one because the Chieftains scored the last eight points of the quarter for a 20-19 lead. Junior Ryan Depinet came off the bench to score five of his seven points with an assist and two rebounds in the stretch run.

“When Ryan came into the game, that was the first time we had any real flow to our game at either end,” Smith said. “He was really moving out there, he’s a 5-foot-8 kid who was getting rebounds, he really gave us some life.”

The other troublesome seven for the Senecas was the seven turnovers they had in the third quarter. There were enough mistakes that Hopewell-Loudon took the lead for good.

When Marcus Somers hit a foul-line jumper with 3:01 left in the quarter, it gave Calvert a 25-22 edge. The Senecas then went scoreless over the next 6:41.

Depinet scored inside and Alec Gregg hit three straight shots, including a 3-pointer, as Hopewell-Loudon eased into the fourth period with a 29-25 lead.

“It seemed like we rushed things in the third quarter,” Willman said. “We only had 11 turnovers for the game, but we had seven of them in the third quarter.

“We had nine straight possessions in which we got nothing,” he said. “On the other hand, they had five positive possession, including a couple threes.”

Then Gregg, who led H-L with 12 points and four assists, scored to open the quarter and Tyler Imes (nine points, seven rebounds) added a couple inside hoops.

The closest Calvert came from there was five points, at 40-35 with 58 seconds to go.

Ryan Lommerse joined Depinet with seven points for the Chieftains. Bennett had 12 points while Thompson (12 rebounds) and Ball were getting 10 each.