By CHUCK RIDENOUR
Daily Globe Sports Editor
Shelby ran off 14 unanswered points to midway through the opening half to take the lead for good and went on to knock off Mid Ohio Athletic Conference opponent Ontario 66-55 Thursday night.
Five different players scored in the game-changing shift as the boys basketball varsity Whippets evened their MOAC ledger at 1-1 and upped their overall mark to 3-1.
Cody Lantz’s rebound basket with 40 seconds remaining in the first quarter pulled SHS within a point at 12-11.
Corner threes by Hunter Hoffman and Nick Amstutz put Shelby ahead at 17-12 with 6:04 remaining in the second stanza.
On the ensuing Warrior possession, Hoffman rebounded and fired an outlet pass to T.J. Pugh who completed the runout to make it 19-12.
Uriah Schwemley’s shot in the lane capped the flurry for a 21-12 advantage with 4:47 left in the first half.
“The key tonight was we got the ball inside more,” noted Whippet coach Troy Schwemley. In last Friday’s MOAC opener, the red and gray settled for threes - making only 6 of 28 - in a 55-48 loss to Clear Fork. “We did a much better job of getting the ball inside and points in the paint.”
T.J. Pugh, a 6-foot-6 sophomore, made his presence felt inside as he tallied 16 of his game-high 22 points after halftime. He totaled 12 in the third period as a five-point SHS lead ballooned to 46-34.
“T.J. had a great night. I remember a stretch where he got some inside finishes and was really being aggressive,” said the SHS coach.
Shelby saw 6-foot-7 senior Hunter Hoffman go down after a collision around the Ontario basket and sat the remainder of the contest with ice on his knee. He had 13 before exiting and his status for the next game was not known.
“Hunter is someone we’re expecting to be out there every minute. Most our plays involve Hunter, whether it’s the first look, second look or third look,” said Troy Schwemley. “We did a good job of playing with different personnel. We had some different lineups out there we’re not used to and the guys did a good of playing through that.”
The Whippets outscored Ontario 20-15 during quarter No. 3 and stretched their lead to 12. SHS led by as many as 14 with under three minutes to go.
Uriah Schwemley was the second leading scorer for Shelby with 16. The 6-foot-3 senior rounded up 13 of them after the intermission.
Leading Ontario, 1-1 all games and the MOAC, were Griffin Shaver with 18 and Shaquan Coburn with 17. Behind a 10-2 run in the first period they took a 12-7 lead behind a three-pointer by Kolten Kurtz.
“I thought our guards did a good job of pressuring their guards full court and making them work for everything,” said Troy Schwemley. “We talked about defending their scorers, but not at the expense of losing everyone else.”
The Whippet return to MOAC activity Saturday night with a trip to Marion Pleasant. The Spartans edged Marion Harding 38-34 last night and currently stand at 2-0 in the conference. They are tied for first place with Clear Fork.
Coburn 6 3 17, Shaver 7 0 18, Kurtz 1 0 3, VanArsdalen 1 2 4, Keller 3 2 8, Jacobs 2 1 5, Totals 20 8-10 55.
Stephens 0 2 2, Schwemley 5 6 16, Hoffman 5 0 13, Lantz 1 0 2, Gossom 0 2 2, Pugh 8 6 22, Amstutz 3 1 9, Totals 22 17-27 66.
Ontario 12 7 15 21 -55
Shelby 11 15 20 20 -66
Three-point field goals - Coburn (P) 2, Shaver (O) 4, Kurtz (O), Hoffman (S) 3, Amstutz (S) 2.