Pike’s free throws lift Lions over Dragons in double OT

BREMEN — Bremen leading scorer Ethan Pike played four quarters and two overtime periods without a single field goal Tuesday against Argos.
His work at the free-throw line, though, made all the difference.
Pike snapped a 41-all deadlock with a pair of free throws with 1:10 left in the second extra set and the Lions’ boys basketball team held on for a 44-41 double-overtime win over the Dragons.
“Ethan is an extremely talented basketball player,” Bremen head coach Ryan Eakins said. “He has no clue how good he could be. He didn’t score from the field, but he stepped up and hit big free throws at the end. That’s what good players do. I’m very pleased that we had the toughness to pull (the win) out.”
Argos (1-3), which patiently chewed up large chunks of clock all night, ended up with two more possessions, but missed on a mid-range baseline jumper with 23 seconds to play and again on a well-defended 3-point prayer from the right corner with 3 ticks left.
“We missed opportunities,” Argos head coach Doug Snyder said. “We’ve lost one game by one and now one in double overtime, but I don’t want to make excuses; I want them to know that we’re a good enough team to be 3-1.
“In the first half we turned the ball over too many times and dug ourselves a hole,” he added. “We were down seven in the third quarter and battled back. I was really pleased to see that. We did a great job being patient. We were in a position to win, we just shot the ball a little too quickly at the end of the game.”
Both teams wasted chances at the end of regulation and the first overtime. Argos’ Brian Snyder — one of five sophomore starters — missed long on a deep triple try from the top of the key with 6 seconds left in the fourth frame, and sophomore point guard Taylor Ogle missed an off-balanced 10-foot runner with 9 seconds to go in the initial overtime.
Meanwhile, the Lions (2-2) bounced 3-point attempts off the rim at the buzzer in both cases. Jacob Box missed from the right corner off penetration and a kick-out from point guard Ben Hueni at the end of the fourth quarter, and Pike misfired from the left corner off an Austin Huff feed from the high post.
“Both plays were executed to a tee,” Eakins said. “Both were outside jump shots that just didn’t go down.”
Huff, a 6-foot-4 senior post, scored a game-high 16 points and grabbed six rebounds for Bremen. Senior wing TJ Bayer added 12 points, including an overtime trey to knot the game at 38-38 with 1:31 left in the first extra four minutes. Hueni added three assists and a couple of steals.
However, after opening a 15-6 lead midway through the second quarter, the Lions struggled to adapt to Argos’ deliberate tempo, turning the ball over a total of 18 times and victimizing themselves with quick shots despite a size advantage in the paint.
“We came out to play,” Eakins said. “We did a really nice job early running our offense and being aggressive, but we could not sustain it. Give Argos a lot of credit. They played their style, played it to perfection and took us out of everything we wanted to do. We had too many turnovers, our shot selection was poor, and our big guys have got to have more of a presence.
“With (Argos’) motion they were making us play defense for 30 to 45 seconds at a time and wearing us down,” he continued. “Then we’d get the ball and get in a hurry. Our mistakes are all controllable things that we can correct.”
Ogle led the Dragons with 15 points — all from behind the arc — including Argos’ lone basket of the first quarter and both of the team’s overtime baskets, and handed out a game-best five assists.
Sophomore Cain Thorn scored all nine of his points in the second half and yanked down seven caroms for Argos. He started an 8-0 third-frame run with a steal, basket and foul and polished it off with a rebound basket off his own missed 3 to give the Dragons their first lead, 28-27 with 2:10 left in the third.
Brian Snyder added eight points and three steals for the Dragons, who committed just five turnovers in the second half after coughing it up 12 times before the intermission.
“In the first half we did too much just passing around the arc,” the Argos skipper said. “When the shots are falling that’s fine, and our shooting percentage was good, but we wanted to be more aggressive on the dribble. We wanted Cain and Taylor to take the ball, take it at them and try to get to the line.”
Bremen travels to Knox Friday. Argos hosts Pioneer Saturday.
At Bremen
Score by quarters
Argos: 3 17 28 35 38 41
Bremen: 11 21 29 35 38 44
ARGOS (41): Taylor Ogle 5 0-0 15, Cain Thorn 3 3-3 9, Zach Hartman 0 0-0 0, Brian Snyder 3 0-0 8, Dakota Earnest 1 0-0 3, Max Bailey 0 0-0 0, Casey Johnson 2 0-0 4, Ben Gilbert 1 0-0 2. TOTALS: 15 3-3 41.
BREMEN (44): Ben Hueni 0 2-2 2, TJ Bayer 5 0-0 12, Ethan Pike 0 4-4 4, Jacob Box 2 2-2 6, Tim Zimmer 1 0-0 2, Austin Huff 5 6-9 16, Mitch Huppert 1 0-0 2. TOTALS: 14 14-17 44.
3-point goals: Argos 8 (Ogle 5, Snyder 2, Earnest), Bremen 2 (Bayer); Turnovers: Argos 17, Bremen 18; Rebounds: Argos 21 (Thorn 7), Bremen 28 (Huff 6); Assists: Argos 8 (Ogle 5), Bremen 11 (Hueni, Bayer, Pike 3; Steals: Argos 5 (Snyder 3), Bremen 4 (Hueni 2); Fouls (fouled out): Argos 16 (Carter), Bremen 9 (none).
Records: Argos 1-3, Bremen 2-2
JV score: Bremen 46, Argos 20