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July 20, 2019

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Overtime '3' Sinks Pirates

By Sam Brauen www.blufftonpirates.com
(BLUFFTON) – The student section was decked out in fishing gear but sadly, the Pirates came up empty.  Bluffton’s boys basketball team dropped their first conference game of the season on a last second banked three pointer in overtime.  Final score : Lincolnview 55 Bluffton 52. Bluffton is now 8-3 overall and 2-1 in the conference.  Lincolnview is 6-5 and 2-1. 

After opening the season with eight straight wins, including knocking off reigning NWC champion Crestview, Bluffton has now dropped three contests in a span of six days.

Pirate gymnasium was packed but the Pirates had a sluggish start Friday night. The Pirates recovered to lead after the first quarter 12-10.  The Pirates pushed the lead out to 29-24 at halftime.  Junior Luke Denecker had another big half, scoring 13 points including two from downtown in the second quarter.  Mason Soper added five second quarter points as well.

The Pirates again struggled out of the gate in the third quarter, committing four turnovers in the first 3 minutes. After falling behind 35-32, BHS ripped off six straight points on buckets from Soper, Jared Piercefield and Denecker.

The fourth quarter featured four lead changes with neither team leading by more than three points at any time.  Bluffton trailed 47-44 with 1:11 to go before Denecker scored in the lane to cut the Lancer lead to one point.  After a Lancer missed free throw with 10 seconds remaining kept the score 48-46 with Lincolnview leading, Denecker again scored in the lane to tie the game with three seconds left. Bluffton trailed out of the gate in overtime and tied it on a Mason Soper free throws at 52-52. 

Lancer senior Zane Miller hit a long jump shot with 46 seconds left to put the visitors ahead by two again.  Soper again knotted the score, nailing a smooth jump hook in the lane with 20 seconds remaining.  The Pirate possession was extended by Mickey Ault who grabbed an important offensive rebound to reset the offense. Lincolnview moved the ball patiently in the final seconds and Miller shot a three pointer from well behind the three point arc that banked in with two seconds left.  A final desperation heave from half court fell short for Bluffton.

Individual Pirate Scoring 
Luke Denecker – 25 points, two 3s
Mason Soper – 13 points, one 3
Jared Piercefield – 7 points, one 3
Levi Hohenbrink – 6 points, two 3s
Baylor Garmatter – 1 point

The Pirates shot 14/18 from the free throw line for the game compared to 9/15 for Lincolnview.

Lincolnview also won the junior varsity contest in double overtime by a 66-65 score. The visitors won the freshman game by three points as well.

What’s Next
The Pirates need a win and will look to pick it up Saturday night against Fort Jennings in another home contest.  The Musketeers are 2-8 and coming off a 48-40 loss to Columbus Grove in their most recent game. 

Photos by Marvin Foster : https://www.usedcoffeebeans.com/Sports/Bluffton-Basketball-Boys/Boys-Bas...

Photos by Amy Mortimer : https://amymortimer.smugmug.com/BHS-Basketball-vs-Lincolnview-1-11-19/

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