Liberty-Benton finally gets to speed things up

RUSTY MILLER AP Sports Writer Published:

Desperate times call for desperate ... slowdowns.

Nothing was holding back Findlay Liberty-Benton's girls team, which was 8-0 in Blanchard Valley Conference play and had won 16 straight games since a season-opening loss to Bellevue.

So Arlington coach Seth Newlove tried something extreme.

After Liberty-Benton scored off the opening tip, Arlington took the air out of the ball. The Red Devils attempted only three shots the entire first half, and had a 4-2 lead late in the first quarter.

Liberty-Benton hit two 3's, though, one at the first quarter buzzer and another that put the Eagles up 8-4 at the half.

When Liberty-Benton opened the third quarter with two quick baskets, Arlington had to abandon its plan, and ended up on the losing end of a 35-10 game. The win clinched the BVC title for Liberty-Benton, its 11th in the last 18 seasons.

RECORD-SMASHERS: Lauren Speice of Haviland Wayne Trace (with 231) broke her mother Angie (Hall) Speice's school rebounding record (222), set in the 1986-87 season; Lima Senior's Indiya Benjamin broke the girls record when she scored 26 points in a 90-66 win over Toledo Central Catholic, giving her 1,488 career points to snap the 25-year-old record of Tammy Williams; and Fostoria St. Wendelin's Kamryn Troike broke her single-game scoring record for the third time this season and almost added a rebounding record as well when the 6-3 sophomore scored 35 points and hauled down 25 rebounds in a 55-50 win over Attica Seneca East.

HELPING OTHERS: Old Fort's Hunter Perry averages almost 30 points per game and had scored 35 late in overtime of Friday's game with Carey. But it was an assist -- a pass to teammate Jon Lotycz under the basket with 4 seconds left -- that led to the game-winning basket in a 75-73 win.

FUN WHILE IT LASTED: Waterford had won 60 consecutive home games against Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division opponents before Thursday night's 75-44 setback to Reedsville Eastern. Glouster Trimble was the last road team to defeat the Lady 'Cats in league play, doing so by a 51-42 margin back on Jan. 17, 2004. It was also the first league loss at home for ninth-year Waterford coach Jerry Close, who owns eight TVC Hocking titles (six outright) and a 106-5 overall record within the division.

GAME OF SPURTS: Napoleon's boys trailed Maumee 38-24 after three quarters but outscored the Panthers 32-13 in the fourth quarter for a 56-51 win; unbeaten Convoy Crestview, which was 0-2 against Haviland Wayne Trace in football, moved to 2-0 in boys hoops by outscoring the 14-2 Raiders 39-16 in the second half for a 70-40 win; Ottawa-Glandorf's boys jumped to a 27-3 lead after one quarter and cruised past Leipsic 81-60 in a battle of schools that played in the state finals a year ago; Huron's Adam Storer scored 27 of his 31 points in the second half of a 69-53 win vs. Vermilion; and Celina's Ryan Hoyng was 0 for 5 from the field and scoreless in the first half against Lima Shawnee but scored 25 points in the second half and overtime -- going 11 for 11 at the line including 8 of 8 in the extra session -- to lead the Bulldogs to a 76-74 win;

NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENTS: Luke Kennard, also a Mr. Football finalist, scored 41 points -- 31 in the second half -- as Franklin won its third straight Southwestern Buckeye League Southwestern Division championship with a 63-54 win at Bellbrook; J.T. McFarland led four players in double figures with 19 points as Zanesville's boys extended their unbeaten streak to 18 games with a 71-69 overtime win at West Virginia power Wheeling Park; Jefferson Area girls coach Rod Holmes earned the 450th win of his career in a 50-47 victory at Painesville Riverside on Feb. 4, then made it 451 with a 47-30 victory against visiting Ashtabula Edgewood; and Athens' girls saw a 30-game regular season win streak end Saturday with a 59-51 loss at Jackson.

BOILER UP: Elida's Dakota Mathias, a Purdue recruit averaging 28.5 points a game, scored 38 points on Friday when the Bulldogs beat defending Division III state champion Ottawa-Glandorf 89-69, then had 42 the next night, including a game-winning free throw with less than a second on the clock in a 70-69 win over Lima Central Catholic, ranked No. 4 in Division III. In the first quarter of Saturday's game, Mathias surpassed Reggie McAdams' Elida career scoring record of 1,720 points.

LOTS TO CELEBRATE: New Knoxville's girls have been busy handing out kudos.

First, senior Haley Horstman became the Rangers' all-time leading scorer last Thursday at Fort Recovery, passing the 1,178 points set by Jill (Henschen) Heitkamp from 1979-83.

On Monday, the Rangers (16-4) beat St. Henry 44-22 for their school-record 15th consecutive win.

BIG FINISH: The Athens Bulldogs hosted Pittsburgh's Andrews Street Propel Academy on Saturday night in a game that wasn't decided until after the final horn.

Athens led 77-75 when Propel's Isiah Adams was fouled shooting a 3 as the clock ran out at the end of regulation.

With a chance to win the game, Adams missed the first free throw. He made the second, but missed the third, allowing Athens to escape with a 77-76 win.

Athens (15-3) was led by Ibi Watson's 28 points and Joe Burrow's 27. Adams had 24 for Propel (15-5).

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Rusty Miller can be reached at http://twitter.com/RustyMillerAP