PDT Sports Writer
COLUMBUS—All great things must come to an end, and for the South Webster Jeeps, their tournament run came one step short of the state.
A 30-24 run in the second half by Lancaster Fairfield Christian proved to be too much for South Webster in a 59-55 Division IV Regional Championship defeat at Ohio Dominican University. In a contest that featured strong finishes to end quarters and tight runs, the Knights found their surge in the second half to counteract the same by the Jeeps in the first 16 minutes of the contest as the game featured 18 lead changes and nine ties.
“It seemed like they had an answer for every run we would make,” South Webster coach Steven Ater said. “Great players, so well coached. There’s a reason why they’re moving on.”
The Jeeps used strong finishes in each the first and second quarters to lead 16-13 and 31-29 respectively when the first half had seven ties and 11 changes. Neither team held a lead bigger than three points in the half.
“Our kids are warriors, that’s the thing I told them after the game,” Ater said. “They have a heart of a champion.”
Both teams traded baskets on two back-to-back possessions. The difference being South Webster senior Seth Goddard connecting on consecutive 3-pointers to give the Jeeps a 37-33 lead, their biggest in the contest.
But the Knights used the third as their version of beat the clock, scoring eight of the frame’s last 10 points capped off by Jordan Brake’s steal and finish for a 50-45 advantage into the fourth.
“I thought that stretch towards the end of the third quarter sunk our hopes a little bit,” Ater said. “I knew if we could hang around, we could be dangerous.”
Ater felt his team had to play a perfect fourth to give themselves a chance. Unfortunately, a pair of baskets by Steven Carpenter extended Fairfield Christian’s lead to 56-49, the largest of the contest.
While the Knights were 8-of-17 from the line in the game. The Jeeps were 5-of-12 from the field in the final quarter.
Cook led South Webster with 20 points before fouling out with 55.2 seconds left and Goddard closed out his career with 15. Carpenter led all scorers with 27 points while Justin Potochnik added 21 in the win.
Along with Goddard, Ater will lose Nick Norman, Jensen Dyer and Lance Swords to graduation, the first class he’s been with from their freshman year.
Cody Leist can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 294, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lancaster Fairfield Christian 13 16 21 9 — 59
South Webster 16 15 14 10 — 55
Fairfield Christian—Potochnik 9-1-21, Brake 1-0-2, Sullivan 1-1-3, Carpenter 10-4-27, Totals 22-8-59.
South Webster—Fuller 1-0-2, Cook 9-1-20, Norman 2-2-6, Dyer 1-2-4, Salisbury 4-0-8, Goddard 6-0-15, Totals 23-5-55.
3-Point Goals—Fairfield Christian 5 (Carpenter 3, Potochnik 2); South Webster 4 (Goddard 3, Cook).
Records—Fairfield Christian 25-2; South Webster 18-8.