Men’s Basketball: Elida bounces back to beat Shawnee in OT

Elida may not be celebrating a Mercy/Health Tip-Off Classic championship, but the Bulldogs are just as happy after coming back with a thrilling, 66-65, overtime victory over Shawnee on Saturday.

Elida, trailing by 13 points in the third quarter at one point, rallied to tie the game, then outscored Shawnee in overtime to improve to 2-0. The Bulldogs picked up a win over Bath in the modified tournament format this year.

Due to Lima Central Catholic’s threshold in the soccer playoffs, the annual pitch tournament had Elida and Bath playing on Friday, which the Bulldogs won, and the return and matchup with Shawnee which saw Elida looking for a second win in a row fell short.

“Our kids have value,” Elida head coach Matt Tabler said. “It’s been a tough couple of years here and I have a lot of kids who are into it. They fight. They fight. They practice so hard. We talked about this weekend and last year. We were not ashamed to be between the ages of 3 and 20 and our children came around the corner.

Tabler added that the team also got some sage advice from former Bulldog head coach Chris Adams, who told the team before the game that this season is a marathon and not a sprint.

“This is just one weekend, but I think we showed a lot of courage tonight.”

In overtime, Elida’s Brice Engle made two free throws with 6.7 seconds remaining to give Elida the 66-65 lead. Shawnee had one last chance to win the game, but Austin Miller’s layup fell short.

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Elida put three players into double figures with Seth Sharp leading the way with 15 points, followed by Tori Thomas with 11 points and Zori Island with 10 points. Five of Island’s points came in overtime.

Shawnee’s Austin Miller finished with 15 points and six rebounds and Will McBride added 13 points and eight rebounds.

After both teams played an inconsistent first half, the Indians lead 33-24 going into the final 16 minutes. It looked like Shawnee had patched things up early in the third quarter as they went on a quick 5-0 run to open up their biggest lead of the game 38-25, with 6:03 remaining in the third quarter.

But Shawnee’s and Elida’s offensive inconsistency began to emerge and slowly the Bulldogs began to cut the lead into double digits and by the end of the third quarter, the Bulldogs had cut the gap to 43-37.

With momentum on their side, the Bulldogs continued to move closer to the lead and led by Seth Sharp’s shooting and big 3-pointers from David Etzhorn and Camden Howard, along with a big rebound and a basket from Thomas cut the lead to 58. – 56 with less than five seconds left and then Howard hit two crucial free throws with 1.7 seconds left on the clock.

Contact José Nogueras at 567-242-0468.

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