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January 17, 2019

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Boys' bball: Pirates tourney champs, Soper MVP

By Sam Brauen www.blufftonpirates.com
(BLUFFTON) – The host Pirates won the McDonald’s Holiday Tournament for the fifth consecutive year with a 58-51 triumph over Arlington. Mason Soper scored a game high 19 points and earned the tournament Most Valuable Player honors.  Jared Piercefield and Luke Denecker joined Soper on the All Tournament Team.  The Pirates improved to 8-0 on the year. 

Keys to the Game

Bluffton exploded for 24 first quarter points and a seven point lead.  Soper scored 7 points in the quarter, getting to the rim routinely after beating his man off the dribble.  Denecker added 5 and Baylor Garmatter was a perfect 4/4 from the line.  Arlington tried to press Bluffton and it didn’t fare well for the Devils.  Bluffton did not commit a turnover in the first eight minutes and scored at will.

As electric as the first quarter was, the Pirate offense ground to a halt in the second quarter.  Levi Hohenbrink’s layup were the only two points of the quarter until Jared Piercefield drained a three at the buzzer.  The scoring lull spanned both teams as Arlington only scored 6 second quarter points and Bluffton maintained a 29-23 advantage at halftime. 

Bluffton pulled out to a 39-28 lead late in the third quarter on a Soper three pointer.  The Red Devils mounted a serious comeback and got within a 45-43 count with 4:47 to go on an Ivan Berry pair of free throws.  Ryan Metzger completed a three point play with 2:11 left to bring Arlington within 49-48. The Pirates shot 7/10 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter.  Levi Hohenbrink connected on both shots of a one and bonus trip with 29 seconds to go. That pushed the Pirate lead out to 53-48.  Piercefield sealed the win when he tracked down a missed Arlington shot and raced down court for a layup.  Piercefield made the bucket while being shoved in the back, which was called an intentional foul.  Jared drained both free throws pushing the lead from 54-41 out to 58-51 with just two seconds left.

Bluffton shot well in the game shooting 18/35 (51%) on two point field goals and 5/19 (26%) on threes, along with 13/18 (72%) from the free throw line. Arlington shot a respectable 17/37 (46%) on 2s but were just 2/19 on 3s. 

All Tournament Team
MVP : Mason Soper (Bluffton)
Jared Piercefield (Bluffton)
Luke Denecker (Bluffton)
Ivan Berry (Arlington)
Ryan Metzger (Arlington)
Luke Lammers (Miller City)
Tommy Stauffer (Cory Rawson)

Individual Pirate Statistics (unofficial)
Mason Soper – 19 points, one 3, 5 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block
Jared Piercefield – 12 points, two 3s, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal
Baylor Garmatter – 10 points, 6/7 on free throws, 4 rebounds
Luke Denecker -8 points, one 3, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block
Levi Hohenbrink – 7 points, one 3, 2/2 on free throws, 1 rebound
Mickey Ault – 2 points, 2 rebounds

Team Statistics

Bluffton
2 Pt FG : 18/35 (51%)
3 Pt FG : 4/19 (26%)
Free Throws : 13/18 (72%)
Rebounds : 29
Turnovers : 8

Arlington
2 Pt FG : 17/37 (46%)
3 Pt FG : 2/19 (11%)
Free Throws : 11/14 (79%)
Rebounds : 30
Turnovers : 7

What’s Next
Bluffton travels to Ottawa-Glandorf on Saturday January 5.  The Titans are 6-1 with a one point loss at Archbold as their only blemish.

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