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Flyers furious comeback falls short in sectional finals

St. Joseph Flyers’ senior guard Joey McDavid (22) goes up against a Green Bobcats’ Zach Huffman (21) during Tuesday’s Division IV sectional championship game. The Flyers comeback fell short in a 60-56 loss. (Photo Courtesy of Tim Gearhart)

Jim Walker

McDERMOTT — It has been said that it’s hard to beat a team three times in one season.
As far as the St. Joseph Flyers are concerned, you can say that again.
The Flyers beat the Green Bobcats 72-58 and 57-45 during the regular season. But those convincing wins didn’t matter in the Division IV sectional finals on Tuesday at Northwest High School.
Green rallied in the second half to take the lead and then held off a furious St. Joseph rally in the final two minutes of the game to escape with a 60-56 win.
‘We missed some easy buckets and we had some turnovers in the second half. We only had six in the first half,” said Flyers’ coach Rex Cooksey.
“Both teams played pretty hard. Green is pretty athletic and they do a good job on the offensive boards.”
The Bobcats held a 56-46 lead with 1:40 to play when Zac Roach drained his third 3-pointer of the game and it was 56-49.
Jimmy Mahlmeister buried a trifecta as St. Joseph cut the deficit to 56-54.
A layup by Tayte Carver gave Green a 58-54 lead and Gage Sampson hit a foul shot with 20 seconds left following a Flyers’ turnover.
Chase Walters’ layup got the Flyers within 59-56 but a foul shot by Caden Blizzard with six seconds to play sealed the 60-56 win.
St. Joseph (15-7) took a 21-16 first quarter lead.
Joey McDavid hit a pair of 3-pointers and scored eight points, Isaac Whaley hit a trey and scored five points while Clay Williams and Walters score four each.
Blizzard and Kimbler each made 3-pointers and scored five points while Sampson had four points for Green.
The Flyers took a 32-26 halftime lead as McDavid scored six points and Whaley added another trifecta in the second quarter.
Kimbler hit a 3-pointer and scored five points for the Bobcats.
The third quarter proved to be crucial as Green outscored the Flyers 19-8 to take a 45-40 lead.
Kimber scored seven points and the Bobcats were 6-of-6 from the foul line in the quarter.
Roach knocked down a pair of triples as the Flyers missed several makeable shots.
“It hurt not having Isaac a lot of the first half. He took a couple of shots to the head in the first quarter and the fourth quarter and that hurt our continuity. It was a tough game which I expected. Our kids played good defense and they didn’t quit. We just had a bad third quarter,” said Cooksey.
“We had a good year. One game is not going to define us. We didn’t have much depth and we lost five games in the fourth quarter.”
McDavid scored 14 points to lead a balanced St. Joseph offense. Walters had 12 points, Roach scored 11 with Whaley getting eight and Willis six.
Kimbler scored 17 points, Blizzard 14 and Carver 11 for the Bobcats.
Green plays Trimble at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday in the district semifinals at the Ohio University Convocation Center.
This is Green’s first sectional title since 2005.
Green       16    10    19    15    =    60
St. Joseph    21    11    8    16    =    56
GREEN (NA): Tanner Kimbler 2 3 4-4 17, Tayte Carver 3 0 5-7 11, Gage Sampson 3 0 1-3 7, Caden Blizzard 4 1 3-4 14, Zach Huffman 4 0 0-0 8, Rylee Maynard 1 0 1-2 3, Ethan Huffman 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 17 4 14-20 60. Fouls: 11. Fouled out: None.
ST. JOSEPH (15-7): Isaac Whaley 1 2 0-0 8, Zac Roach 0 3 2-2 11, Clay Willis 3 0 0-0 6, Joey McDavid 3 2 2-2 14, Chase Walters 6 0 0-1 12, Jimmy Mahlmeister 1 1 0-0 5. Totals: 14 8 4-5 56. Fouls: 16. Fouled out: None.