BASKETBALL: Botkins wins thrilling tourney opener
PIQUA — Freshman Mitchell Goubeaux hit the two most important free throws of his high school career in the final seconds as the Botkins Trojans claimed a 50-49 victory over the Fort Loramie Redskins in a Division IV first-round sectional tournament game Friday night at Piqua High School.
The game was tied up 40-40 with 1:25 left on the clock in the fourth quarter. Redskins senior Tyler Miracle drained a three-point shot to instantly rejuvenate his teammates.
His only shot of the night was not enough to slow down the Trojans though, as senior Tyler Egbert added four points to the boards while junior Seth Hoying sunk a 3-pointer of his own.
As the seconds disappeared, the fifth-seeded Trojans and ninth-seeded Redskins rallied back and forth until the Trojans finally pulled ahead thanks to Goubeaux’s two crucial free throws.
“The out of bounds play we set up was not designed for Mitch to get the ball, but he did anyhow,” Botkins coach Brett Meyer said. “We knew Fort Loramie had no timeouts left, so his free throws were huge to gain us the four-point lead we needed to get ahead.”
The Trojans grabbed the tip to start the game and held the lead going into halftime. Their only downfall of the night was getting outrebounded by the Redskins.
“Fort Loramie is a very good, aggressive team, and we knew that coming into tonight,” Meyer said.
After regrouping, the Trojans defense picked up in the second half, managing to grab six steals and only give up six turnovers.
“We knew we needed to press and make sure everyone had someone to guard,” Meyer said. “As soon as we sucked one man in on defense, that allowed us to open up one of our guards and get a shot off.”
Offensively, senior Ethan Zimpfer led the Trojans with 11 points while Heath Geyer added 10 points.
Tyler Egbert had nine points on the night and juniors Josh Schwartz and Seth Hoying each added eight.
The Trojans will be back in action Tuesday night at 8 at Piqua High School against the Russia Raiders.