Game 12 : Bluffton 66 Paulding 47 (6-6, 2-1 NWC)
(PAULDING) - A strong second quarter pushed Bluffton a 66-47 road victory over Paulding. The Pirates outscored the Panthers 15-5 to take a 29-16 lead into halftime. The Pirates wer able to keep the always pesky Panthers at bay in the fourth quarter with a solid free throw effort. Trevor Bassitt was able to rattle the rim with a breakaway dunk in the second half for the Pirates.
Scoring : Luke Denecker 15 points, one 3. Gabe Denecker 14 points, two 3's. Kaleb Jefferson 12, Zane Myers 8, Trevor Bassitt 7, Dakota Bricker 5, Colin Phillips 3 and Cole Fruchey 2.
Game 11 : Bluffton 66 Fort Jennings 52 (5-6, 1-1 NWC))
(BLUFFTON) - After trailing by fifteen points in the second quarter, the Pirate boys basketball team roared to life coming back to defeat Fort Jennings by a 66-52 count. Senior Gabe Denecker and freshman brother Luke each scored 17 points. The win was the second in as many nights for BHS and improved their record to 5-6. FJ dropped to 4-8 with the loss.
The Musketeers led 17-7 after one quarter stretched that lead out to fifteen in the second. The Pirates ended the half with a nice run, cutting the FJ lead to just 32-27. The Pirates won the third quarter 13-8 to tie the game at 40-40 and then put up 26 fourth quarter points to pull away for the double digit victory. The Pirates were an eye popping 14/15 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter alone.
Gabe Denecker scored 7 first half points, 6 in the third and 4 in the fourth. Luke Denecker nailed two 3's in the second quarter on his way to 8 first half points. The freshman then went 7/8 from the line in the fourth quarter and added a bucket to finish his 17 point night. Kaleb Jefferson joined the Denecker boys in double figures with 11 points.
The Pirates do not play again until next Friday when they travel to Paulding.
Scoring: Gabe Denecker 17, Luke Denecker 17, Kaleb Jefferson 11, Zane Myers 9, Trevor Bassitt 5, Antony Kingsley 5, Dakota Bricker 2.
Game 10 : Bluffton 51 Lincolnview 40 (4-6, 1-1 NWC)
(BLUFFTON) - After trailing for most of the first half, freshman Luke Denecker drilled a long '3' at the halftime buzzer to finally give BHS 27-26 halftime lead. The team cranked up the defense in the third quarter, holding Lincolnview to just four points. BHS used a trapping half court strategy to keep the visitors out of their normal offensive flow. Dakota Bricker & Luke Denecker nailed back to back three pointers in a quick 6-0 spurt pushing the Pirate lead out to 37-30 after three quarters.
The Pirates stayed aggressive in the fourth quarter getting to the rim and breaking the Lincolnview press and halfcourt traps. The Pirates were able to push their lead to double digits and keep it there through the final whistle. Bricker, Trevor Bassitt, Kaleb Jefferson, Antony Kingsley and Luke Denecker all scored in the final stanza as the Pirates moved the ball efficiently.
Scoring: Luke Denecker 15 points with two 3's, Dakota Bricker 9, Zane Myers 7, Gabe Denecker 6, Kaleb Jefferson 6, Trevor Bassitt 4, Antony Kingsley 4.
Game 9 : Wapakoneta 57 Bluffton 37 (3-6, 0-1 NWC)
(WAPAK) - The host Redskins won their sixth straight game and led from wire to wire in doing so. Wapak held a 35-18 halftime and hit hit nine three pointers in the win.
Freshman Luke Denecker again led the Pirates in scoring with 12 points. Kaleb Jefferson scored 8, Trevor Bassitt 7, Anthony Kingsley 4, Gabe Denecker 4 and Zane Myers 2. Luke Denecker and Bassitt each connected on a '3' for Bluffton.
Game 8 : Ottawa Glandorf 50 Bluffton 38 (3-5, 0-1 NWC)
(OTTAWA) - Ottawa-Glandorf came into this contest undefeated and showed why as they forced ten first quarter Pirate turnovers. The Titans built a 21-6 lead midway through the second quarter. BHS had turnovers on 6 of its first 8 possessions and couldn't get out of their own way. OG's full court press and physicality wore on the Pirates early on. BHS looked a little rusty after being off since December 28.
The resilient Pirates fought back and cut the lead to 33-28 early in the third quarter. The Pirates were breaking the press and getting good looks. The red & white also defended well at times, holding OG to just 34% field goal shooting on the night, including a 3/17 effort from three point range. Unfortunately, the Pirates could not get things rolling from distance, connecting on just 1 of 13 three point attempts.
Freshman Luke Denecker scored a team high 15 points. Trevor Bassitt added 8 points and grabbed a team high 9 rebounds for Bluffton. Kaleb Jefferson added 6, Gabe Denecker 5 and Colin Phillips 2.
Game 7 : Bluffton 66 Allen East 52 (Overtime) (3-4, 0-1 NWC)
(BLUFFTON) - The championship game of the McDonald’s Holiday Tournament had just that - a tournament feel. The two squads went head to head throughout the game. Bluffton staked a 29-19 halftime lead behind 11 points from tournament Most Valuable Player Zane Myers. The senior was quick to the basket throughout the game. Gabe Denecker added 9 first half points Bluffton attacked the paint, taking advantage of their superior size.
Myers also was matched against Allen East’s top player, Spencer Miller. Myers did an amicable job, holding Miller to just 12 points on the night, half of his 23 per game average. Of note, Miller scored his 1,000 career point early in the third quarter and sparked an Allen East comeback. The Mustangs outscored the Pirates 18-7 in the third quarter and took a 37-36 lead into the final quarter. Caleb Smelcer scored a game high 20 points for the Mustangs who entered the game with a 5-1 record.
Five different Pirates found the hoop in the fourth quarter. Trevor Bassitt drained an important ‘3’ and scored a transition layup to keep BHS In it. As overtime began, Bluffton quickly took control. After a basket, a technical foul was called on Allen East and Luke Denecker drained both free throws. The Pirates scored on the ensuing possession to open a six point advantage. Denecker drained a ‘3’ and added two free throws in the extra stanza. Zane Myers continued attacking the basket, scoring six overtime points. In all, Bluffton put up 18 points in just four minutes of action compared with just four for Allen East.
Zane Myers scored a game high 22 points and earned the MVP honors. He was joined on the All Tournament team by Gabe Denecker and Luke Denecker.
Game 6 : Bluffton 62 Cory Rawson 39 (2-4, 0-1 NWC)
(BLUFFTON) - Bluffton never gave Cory Rawson a chance in the opening round of the McDonald’s Holiday Tournament. BHS used a strong second quarter to open a 26-17 lead and extended that lead to 32-17 early in the second half. The Pirates outscored the Hornets 19-7 in the fourth quarter to blow open the lead. BHS advances to the tournament finals against Allen East.
Bluffton’s balanced scoring attack kept coming in waves. Gabe Denecker, Trevor Bassitt and Luke Denecker each scored seven points in the first half and Antony Kingsley added 5 as the Pirates had a good mix of inside and outside offense. In the third quarter, Gabe picked up where he left off. The 6’4” big man with a soft outside touch connected on two shots in the paint in addition to a ‘3’ from the top of the key. Dakota Bricker and Trevor Bassitt drained 3’s to open the fourth quarter and BHS shot 7/10 from the stripe in the final stanza to give Bluffton the win.
Gabe Denecker led the way with 17 points. Luke Denecker added 14 including two 3’s, Trevor Bassitt scored 12, Antony Kingsley 5, Zane Myers and Dakota Bricker 3 each and Kaleb Jefferson 2.
Game 5 : Bluffton 66 McComb 51 (1-4, 0-1 NWC)
(BLUFFTON) - The Pirates notched their first win of the season in a hot, raucous home gym in a makeup game with McComb. The Pirates were ultra-aggressive in their offensive game plan in the first half. Luke Denecker scored 11 and Zane Myers 9 to pace the Pirate offense. The defense was just as stingy, allowing just 15 first half points and BHS led 39-15. The Panthers were able to make a game of it in the second half, cutting the Pirate lead to ten points early in the fourth quarter but Bluffton rode the strength of a 13-21 free throw effort in the fourth quarter to earn the win.
Luke Denecker finished with 16 points and two 3’s made. Zane Myers scored 12 with three 3’s. Kaleb Jefferson had his highest scoring output of the year with 12 points as he continually attacked the rim. Dakota Bricker and Gabe Denecker added 8 points each. Trevor Bassitt closed out the scoring with 2 points.
Game 4 : Delphos Jefferson 55 Bluffton 39 (0-4, 0-1 NWC)
(BLUFFTON) - Playing on their home court for the first time, Bluffton’s boys basketball team couldn’t keep pace with Delphos Jefferson and fell to 0-1 in Northwest Conference play with a 55-39 loss. Jefferson led 28-21 at halftime and outscore the Pirates 17-8 in the final stanza to pull away. The Jeffcats did not do anything spectacular to stop Bluffton but clogged lanes and forced long jump shots. Gabe Denecker led Bluffton’s scoring attack with 14 points on ⅝ shooting. Jefferson point guard Jace Stockwell connected for 22 points and always seemed to have an answer for any Bluffton threats.
Luke Denecker added 11 points, Zane Myers 9, Dakota Bricker 3 and Antony Kingsley 2 for Bluffton.
Game 3 : Shawnee 59 Bluffton 37 (0-3, 0-0 NWC)
(LIMA) - There was no blown lead for this game. Rather, Shawnee put their stamp on the game with physical, full court, trapping defense. Shawnee led 15-13 after one quarter and then turned it on. The undefeated Indians closed the half on a 15-3 run and led 33-19 at the half. Shawnee continued their defensive tactics and expanded the lead to 53-27 after three quarters.
Freshman Luke Denecker led Bluffton with 10 points. Trevor Bassitt 9, Dakota Bricker 8, Gabe Denecker 5, Zane Myers 3 and Antony Kingsley 2.
Game 2 : Bath 47 Bluffton 38 (Overtime) (0-2, 0-0 NWC)
(LIMA) - Bluffton bolted out to a commanding 26-7 halftime lead, including a 19-1 advantage at one point early in the second quarter at Lima Bath. The Pirates looked to be well on their way to the first win of the season but once again the squad could not finish strong and put up just nine second half points. The Wildcats roared back eventually forcing overtime. Bath held a 12-3 advantage in the extra time to take the win.
Gabe Denecker again led the Pirates with 9 points. Luke Denecker added 8, Antony Kingsley 6, Trevor Bassitt 5, Zane Myers 4, and Kaleb Jefferson 2.
Game 1 : Leipsic 53 Bluffton 51 (Overtime) (0-1, 0-0 NWC)
(LEIPSIC) - The Bluffton boys basketball team started their season well, taking a 38-32 lead after three quarters at Leipsic. The fourth quarter would prove difficult for the Pirates to close out and the Viking’s Dylan Schroeder knocked down a 15 foot jumper to tie the game at 50-50 as time expired and send the game to overtime. The defensive battle ensued with Leipsic gritting out a 53-51 victory to open the 2016-17 season.
The loss spoiled the opener for Bluffton seniors Gabe Denecker (15 points), Zane Myers (9), Trevor Bassitt (7) and Antony Kingsley (2). Freshman Luke Denecker scored 12 points in his varsity debut including two 3 pointers. Junior Dakota Bricker scored 6 of his own to round out the scoring.
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Teams: Basketball (B)