MCDERMOTT, Ohio — The Whiteoak Wildcats traveled to Northwest High School on Tuesday to take on the Titans of Portsmouth Notre Dame in a Division IV Southeast Sectional Semi Final basketball game. The Wildcats emerged from the hard fought contest with a 48-33 win that was sealed at the line with Whiteoak combining to go
The Titans struck first in a low scoring first with a three pointer to before Zach Rand answered with a fast break layup after a huge block by Atlee Carr.
After another jumper by Notre Dame, Brayden Yeager got one to drop for the Wildcats to bring the score to 5-4 with three minutes to play in the first quarter.
Notre Dame hit it’s second three pointer of the quarter before Hunter Ruckel hit a jumper from the left elbow with 1:39 to play and followed it up by hitting one of two free throws with 5.3 seconds to play to provide the Wildcats with a one point deficit at 8-7 after the first quarter.
Ruckel hit a three pointer from the right wing to start the second quarter and ignited a 17-5 run that lasted the entirety of the frame.
During the run Bradley Ashbaugh hit a three pointer, Rand had four points, Ryan Roberts had two, Traeten Hamilton had two and Atlee Carr finished off the run and capped the scoring in the second quarter with 1:49 left before halftime.
The Wildcats pressured the Titans for much of the game and we especially successful in the second quarter when they limited the visitors on the scoreboard to just five points and took a 24-13 lead at halftime.
Whiteoak slowed down a little in the third quarter and only outscored the Titans 9-6 in the quarter with Ruckel, Hamilton, Yeager and Roberts providing the points for Whiteoak as they pushed their lead to 14 points at the end of three with the scoreboard reading 33-19.
The Wildcats were able to put the game away at the line in the fourth quarter when they combined to shoot 11/16 in the quarter.
Notre Dame was able to cut the lead to single digits at 39-31 with 3:38 to play but were unable to get closer than that as the Wildcats secured the game down the stretch for the 48-33 win.
“I think we are peaking a little bit,” said Whiteoak Head Coach Blake Kibler. “What we have been preaching is if the ball doesn’t go into the hole you got to play 10 times harder on the defensive end. That’s what we did tonight. We shot the ball 39 percent from the field but, we held them to 33 points.”
Score by quarters
Whiteoak: Ashbaugh (1)-1/2-4; Roberts 2-4; Ruckel 2(1)-1/2-8; Carr 1-1/1-3; Rand 6-6/9-18; Yeager 2-0/1-4; Hamilton 1-5/8-7
Notre Dame: Harrell 1(1)-5; Mader (1)-2/2-5; Clark 1-2; Nichols 4(2)-1/2-15; Kramer 3-6
Ryan Applegate is the Sports Editor for The Times-Gazette. Reach Ryan Applegate at 937-402-2572, or on Twitter @RCApplegate89.