Little Giants prove mighty

A slow start and a cold third quarter did in Columbian Saturday night, as it lost to Fremont Ross, 53-40.

The Tornadoes started the contest by missing their first four shots, and also turned the ball over a few times. That allowed the Little Giants to grab and never relinquish it.

Dylan Jagodzinski made a pair of layups to give Ross a 4-0 lead, then Grant McConnell’s foul shot was followed by a two Jack Gedeon layups, making it 9-0 with 3:51 left in the first quarter.

“I thought our start was a big thing,” said Ross coach Mark Gedeon, whose team improved to 4-2. “With our losses against Findlay and Lima Senior we did not get off to good starts. Both teams coming off an exciting win the night before… it makes you wonder what your energy level comes out with. For us to start off with that defensive intensity, knowing they have two outstanding post players – they run some good stuff – gave us that cushion throughout.”

The Tornadoes made a comeback in the second quarter, getting to within 23-20 after a Josh Flint layup with three minutes left.

Flint finished the game with a team-leading 13 points.

“There was a couple times we chipped away at (the deficit) and had it close,” TC coach Bill Beaston said.

The Little Giants recovered to take a 30-23 lead at halftime, then took advantage of a tough third quarter for the Tornadoes.

Columbian missed its first eight shots of the period, and went just 3 of 12 from the floor over the eight minute stretch. Ross outscored TC 14-7, and went to the fourth up 44-30.

“I really think the difference in the game was in the third quarter,” Beaston said. “We got outscored… and if you look at our shot chart, we had some point blank shots and we had some great looks in the offense that just didn’t fall. I think if we hit some of those shots, that adjusts what needs to be done in the fourth quarter, maybe it’s a different game.”

Jagodzinski made two nice shots in the period, and finished the game with 13 points, a team-high.

“He had two nice hook shots, then we also thought our out of bounds plays, we got two to Drew Solander, another to Jagodzinski in there as well. When you get those – whether you want to call them ‘special points’ there -I thought those gave us a lift.”

Beaston agreed those plays were crucial.

“We didn’t do a very good job communicating on the out of bounds sets there, for whatever reason,” he said. “We’ll have to get that fixed. And we will.”

Columbian also got 11 points from Derek Dryfuse in falling to 2-1. It will be back in action Monday when it travels to Port Clinton.

“Port Clinton has a nice young team, Coach (Troy) Diels does a good job with that group up there,” Beaston said. “It’s gonna be a challenge, but for us we just need to correct what we can correct, control what we can control, and we’ll see how it shakes out.”

Ross’ Jarren Hampton had 10 points.

“To go up to Whitmer [Friday] and win at the buzzer, then to come back here and play a very solid Tiffin team,” coach Gedeon said, “I asked for it in the locker room: ‘Give me a good Christmas present,’ and my boys came through for me.'”