Men’s Basketball squad still undefeated at home
By Kevin Schrock
After losing its first two conference games of the season, the Oiler Men’s basketball team has gone red hot, winning seven of its last eight games, and five straight. Thursday they came out on top of Ohio Dominican at home by a final of 80-76 before their Saturday matchup in Tiffin where a strong second half propelled them to a 70-60 victory over the Dragons.
In Thursday’s matchup with the Panthers, the Oilers were poised to take a 10-point lead into halftime before a final second three ball by Ohio Dominican cut the lead to 41-34. The Panthers went on to go on a 13-0 run midway through the second half and the Oilers had a ballgame at 66-63.
Even so, Findlay managed to pull away late thanks to John Staley’s 16 points and eight rebounds and Taren Sullivan’s career high 15 points.
After the win at home the Oilers were forced to leave the friendly confines of the Croy Physical Education Center for the much less friendly Gilmore Student Center on the Campus of the University of Tiffin on Saturday.
Offense was a struggle for the Oilers early on and at the end of the first half Findlay had only managed to put up a dismal 23 points. It was their lowest first half total of the year and it seemed like a different team than only a week prior had managed 19 points against Hillsdale in the first five minutes.
“You have to be able to win sometimes on days like that,” said Ernst. “That’s where we’ve really gotten better defensively.”
The Oiler defense kept them in the game. At the half the Oilers only trailed 27-23 and it would be two seniors who would step up to make big second half plays to push Findlay past Tiffin.
With the Oilers trailing 37-31 early in the second half the Dragons were gaining momentum and the Oilers were in danger of letting the game slip away because of their poor shooting. Dylan Kaufman changed all that in a minute. He buried two three-pointers within 50 seconds and the game was tied up at 39.
Staley came up with the game clinching plays then down the stretch by drawing back to back charges on the defensive side of the ball.
“Staley loves doing that dirty work,” said Ernst. “Not everybody is willing to do that.”
With the Oilers putting up 47 second half points they pulled away late for the 70-60 win and Martyce Kimbrough once again led the charge with 20 points. Sullivan
continued his hot play by scoring 14 while Kaufman also reached double figures with 11.
The Oilers are on a five game winning streak and are coming back home to Croy, where they are 7-0, for three conference games in a row. None of those games will be more important than the first when they take on Ashland who is squared away with them at the top of the South with a GLIAC record of 7-3.