BELLEFONTAINE — The Botkins boys basketball team got the season off to a great start by winning the Ben Logan Tip-Off Classic 64-51 over Mechanicsburg.
The Trojans got down early 12-4, which included a 10-2 run by the Indians.
Botkins then responded with an impressive 14-3 run to take the lead after one quarter of play 19-16. Senior forward Josh Schwartz was sharp in the first quarter scoring 13 points in the opening eight minutes, which included scoring 17 of the first 23 points for Botkins.
Trojan head coach Brett Meyer was very pleased with Schwartz’s play in the first half.
“Josh played really well in the first half; he was 10-13 from 2 point range for the game. He was huge for us,” Meyer said.
With the help of Senior guard Heath Geyer, the Trojans got a 30-26 lead midway through the second quarter. The Trojans took a 32-26 lead into halftime aided by 21 points from Schwartz.
Botkins extended its lead to 8 early in the third quarter on a Gabe Lawrence lay-up, but like all night, Mechanicsburg clawed back to cut the lead to three. An Alex Roberts lay-up and a Geyer 3-pointer got the lead back to eight with 1:19 left in the third.
The Indians struck back quick with a 7-0 run in less than a minute to cut the lead to one, but the Trojans got a three from Roger Miller at the buzzer to take a 47-43 lead into the fourth.
Botkins was on fire at the beginning of the fourth, claiming a 12 point lead off a Geyer tip-in with 5:15 left in the final period. Geyer warmed up for the Trojans in the fourth, scoring the majority of his 18 points in the final period.
The Trojans maintained the lead throughout the fourth to claim the 64-51 victory.
Coach Meyer was very excited to win the Tip-Off Classic for the 2nd consecutive year.
“Im pretty happy to win the Tip-Off, It’s a great start for us to the season,” Meyer said. “We knew Mechanicsburg was a good team, they were quick and we know their pressure was going to be tough to handle, but I thought we handled it well after the first 5 minutes.”
Even following a win, Meyer said there is always things to improve on.
“We need to box out better,” Meyer said. “Need to get bodies on people and not allow so many offensive rebounds”.
Welch led Mechanicsburg with 15 points, while Schwartz led Botkins with 28 points, Geyer added 18.
The Indians shot 34 percent from the field, compared to Botkins 47 percent.
The Indians out rebounded the Trojans 35-29.
Mechanicsburg committed 24 turnovers, while Botkins turned it over 15 times. Botkins was 11-19 from the charity stripe, while Mechanicsburg was 7-10.