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August 14, 2020

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Pirates beat Falcons in low-scoring battle

Boys seeded 2nd at sectionals

By Cort Reynolds
MT. BLANCHARD - Visiting Bluffton beat Riverdale 38-33 in a defensive non-conference boys basketball bout Saturday night.

The Pirates improved to 16-4 with the deliberate road win. Meanwhile, Riverdale fell to 14-6 with the defeat.

Bluffton led 10-9 after the first period, and was on top 17-13 at intermission in the low-scoring affair. The Pirates managed to outscore the Falcons 21-20 after halftime to hold on for the win. 

Senior Mason Soper led the Pirates by scoring 15 points, 11 of which came in the second half. Senior Jared Piercefield added eight markers.

Logan Frey was the lone Falcon in double figures with 14 points. 

Bluffton canned 15 field goals, including 13 two-point goals and  a pair of trifectas. The Pirates converted six of seven foul shots (86 percent).

Riverdale sank 11 deuces and one triple for just 12 total baskets. The Falcons converted eight of 11 free throws (73 percent).

Both teams committed 15 turnovers in the defensive battle.

After a rare Friday night off February 14, the Pirates visit tough WBL non-league foe Kenton (11-8) Saturday night, Feb. 15. 

Bluffton is 5-3 on the road this season. The Pirates finished the season 11-1 at home.

Bluffton 38 (16-4)
Deardorff 1 0-0 3, Garmatter 0, Soper 6 2-2 15, Shutler 1 0-0 2, Piercefield 4 0-0 8, Essinger 2 2-3 6, Ault 0, Hohenbrink 0 2-2 2, Kinn 1 0-0 2. 
Totals: 15/6-7/38. 3-pointers: Soper 1, Deardorff 1.

Riverdale 33 (14-6)
Morris 1 1-2 3, Miller 1 2-3 5, Frey 5 4-4 14, Holland 2 0-0 4, Dsvis 3 1-2 7.
Totals: 12/8-11/33. 3-pointer: Miller 1.

    1    2    3    4    F
Bluf     10    7     11    10     38
Rdal    9    4    10    10    33

Bluffton was seeded second at the 13-team Elida/Miller City Div. III sectional drawings Sunday. 

The Pirates will play the winner between 11th seed Paulding (6-12) and fifth seed Lima Central Catholic Friday, Feb. 28 in Elida at 8 p.m. in the second round.

The Pirates whipped the visiting Panthers 63-48 on Jan. 10, but did not play LCC (10-8).

The sectional final winners advance to the Lima Senior districts March 5. If the seeds hold according to form, Bluffton would face tough Wayne Trace (15-5) in the district semis. 

Ottawa-Glandorf (18-1) was seeded first in the sectional, with Wayne Trace ranked third and Riverdale fourth. The Pirates lost at home to top seed O-G 47-41 on Jan. 4 to suffer their first loss of the season. It was their only home defeat of the campaign.

The district finals are set for Saturday, March 7 at Lima Senior.

The Pirates are playing the rest of the season without senior scoring leader Luke Denecker, who is sidelined by a torn meniscus.
 

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