PLYMOUTH — John Glenn’s Josh Anderson was a difference maker Tuesday.
The Falcon senior compiled 24 points against conference foe New Prairie, but his biggest impact may have come when he didn’t have the ball.
With the Falcons down 48-50 with just 2.2 seconds left in regulation, Glenn used Anderson as a decoy, and Charles Dreessen was able to slip on a screen for a basket to tie the game as time expired to force overtime. Glenn went on to outscore the Cougars 7-3 in the extra period — including six points from Anderson — for a 57-53 win in the Sectional 19 opener at Plymouth. The Falcons advance to play Jimtown Friday at 6 p.m.
“We knew they were going to try to take Josh (Anderson) away so we ran him to the other side of the floor,” John Glenn coach Travis Hannah said of the overtime-forcing play. “Then we had (Nathan) Stegemiller popping up, and we thought they were going to take those two options away so we wanted Charlie (Dreessen) slipping. He struggled around the basket tonight, but he was able to knock that one down.”
New Prairie was able to control the pace in the opening quarter of the game. The Cougars were patient with the ball and found holes in John Glenn’s zone defense. Jasen Webb kickstarted the offense for New Prairie with a basket on a drive and then a 3-pointer from the corner off an assist by Kyle Brammer, but the Falcons seemed to have an answer for every basket. The quarter saw two ties and five lead changes between the two teams with New Prairie having a slight edge at the quarter break, 16-11.
The second quarter was just as close as the first.
New Prairie extended the lead to seven, highlighted by a possession with three offensive rebounds and a put-back by C.J. Kowalski, at the seven-minute mark of the quarter. Again Glenn was able to answer back with a basket by Anderson, who was called for his third foul of the game trying to make a steal in the backcourt immediately after, forcing the senior to the bench for the final 4:19 of the half.
New Prairie wasn’t able to capitalize with Anderson out, mostly due to the play of freshman Jake Strong. He would score his only seven points of the game in those final four minutes to help keep the score close, and Tyler Prentkowski scored his only basket of the game with 29 seconds left to force a 26-26 tie heading into the half.
As expected, the third quarter was much of the same. Glenn jumped out to a two-point lead off of a pair of Anderson free throws, and New Prairie came right back down the court to tie it up again on a basket by Austin Ginter. The Falcons were able to eke out one more lead on the next possession, again on a score by Anderson, but Ginter hit his second shot in a row, this time a 3-pointer, to give the Cougars the lead for the rest of the game until the last second heroics by Dreessen.
Glenn carried the momentum from that shot into the overtime period. Anderson hit a shot that gave the Falcons their first lead of the game since early in the third quarter on an assist by Tom Knape. He closed out the game going 4-for-4 from the line over the final 45 seconds of the overtime period.
John Glenn survives and advances to a Friday night match-up with another conference foe the Jimtown Jimmies.
Even though the Falcons were able to come away with a 22-point win in the teams’ first match-up, Hannah isn’t looking past the Jimmies.
“We have to continue to rebound and against Jimtown. We have to guard the 3-point line,” said the Glenn skipper. “They have (Evan) Oblinger and (Justin) Brown that can shoot the ball from the perimeter, so we have to do a good job defensively on them.”
• JOHN GLENN 57, NEW PRAIRIE 53 OT
Score by quarters
New Prairie: 16 26 37 50 53
John Glenn: 11 26 36 50 57
NEW PRAIRIE (53): Jasen Webb 9, Zach Rehlander 9, Tyler Szynal 3, Austin Ginter 8, Matt Winter 4, Noah Shail 0, CJ Kowalski 11, Kyle Brammer 9.
JOHN GLENN (57): Nathan Stegemiller 7, Josh Anderson 24, Tom Knape 7, Tyler Prentkowski 2, Austen Hayes 0, Jake Strong 6; Michael Schmeltz 0, Charlie Dreessen 10.