Bobcats show grit in season-opening loss to Bedford

By DOUG DONNELLY

OTTAWA LAKE – The Whiteford Bobcats didn’t come away with a victory Friday against Bedford, but they earned a lot of respect from Mule head coach Frank Scheuer.

“Give the Whiteford kids credit,” Scheuer said. “They are scrappy and tough and hard-nosed. If you are tough and scrappy, you are going to be in just about any game. They graduated a lot of talent, but they made plays and didn’t fall away.”

Bedford beat the Bobcats, 62-50, but needed a late rally to overcome a Whiteford team playing its first game of the season under first-year head coach Nick Abalos. Down by as many as 16 points in the third quarter, the Bobcats fought back to a 46-46 tie with 4:49 left in the fourth quarter. Whiteford was still within striking distance in the final three minutes before two crucial offensive charging calls on back-to-back possessions turned the ball over to the Mules, who converted nine free throws down the stretch.

“We worked hard,” Abalos said. “That was pure heart to get us back in the game. … I’m extremely proud. Our No. 1 goal was no never be outworked. Those guys are all coachable and competitive.”

Hunter Lake finished with 16 points and Isaac Badenhop 14. Brodi Tesznar was a force on the boards and have seven points and Zack Bertz contributed six points and a solid all-around effort.

“Hunter did a great job of penetrating, either finishing or dishing or drawing a foul. We rode that as long as we could. Brodi came in and got a bunch of rebounds. We couldn’t take him off the court because he was getting so many rebounds.”

The Bobcats will play another Division 1 school next week when the travel to Monroe.

“We played Bedford and we didn’t back down,” Abalos said. “We’ll go play Monroe Tuesday and we’re not going to back down. We’re going to be competitive and we are going to get in people’s faces and we’re going to play hard basketball. People won’t want to play us.”

Bedford 62, Whiteford 50

BEDFORD (62)

Kochendoerfer 1 2-2 4, Bachli 1 1-2 3, Nigh 2 1-2 5, Matthews 2(1) 0-0 5, Kohler 11 9-9 31, Links 3(1) 1-2 8, King 0 5-6 5, Ripple 0 1-2 1. Totals 20(2) 20-25 62.

WHITEFORD (50)

Lake 5(1) 5-6 16, Bertz 2(1) 1-1 6, Badenhop 5(1) 3-4 15, Bauman 0 3-4 3, Clark-Gilmore 1 0-0 2, Murphy 0 2-2 2, Marchant 0 0-2 0, Tesznar 3 1-2 7. Totals 16(3) 15-21 50.

BEDFORD            14           21           9             18           –              62

WHITEFORD       10           14           16           10           –              50

Total fouls – Bedford 19, Whiteford 22. Fouled out – Tesznar, Whiteford. Technical fouls – Murphy, Whiteford.

 

 

 

 

OTTAWA LAKE – Bedford and Whiteford’s boys basketball teams both learned something about themselves Friday night in a non-conference clash in a packed Bobcat gymnasium.

Bedford, who won 62-50, found out they have a big-time scorer in junior Matt Kohler, who poured in 31 points, but will need contributions from others to win in the rugged Southeastern Conference.

Whiteford, playing in its season opener under first-year head coach Nick Abalos, showed off a tough, hard-nosed group that will refuse to back down to anyone.

The Mules led by as many as 16 points in the third quarter Friday before the Bobcats charged back to tie the game with 6:46 remaining in the fourth quarter and were within a bucket with under four minutes to play when they were stymied by two crucial offensive charging calls on back-to-back possessions.

Bedford was 9-for-12 in the fourth quarter from the free throw line to help it pull away. After Whiteford’s Hunter Lake tied the game at 46-46 with a short jumper, Bedford got baskets by Landon Links on consecutive possessions, both coming after offensive rebounds. Kylon King hit five free throws down the stretch for the 1-1 Mules.

“We were able to keep our composure,” Scheuer said. “We want to get to the line in that situation. The best shot in basketball is when no one is guarding you.”

Kohler had a tremendous night, scoring 26 points in the first half. He hit from all over the court, showing off a nice shooting touch no matter where he had the ball. The Bobcats changed up defenses on him in the second half, putting Zack Bertz and Nick Marchant on him and double-teaming him when possible. It seemed to slow him down in the scoring department, but it also opened things up for others.

“We try to be balanced, but he made some shots and started hunting for the ball,” Scheuer said. “He draws a lot of attention, but we need to do a better job of being balanced. It was ugly, but we got the outcome we wanted. We have to get better quick, that’s for sure.”

Besides Kohler’s 31 points – which included 9-for-9 shooting at the free throw line, Links scored 8.

The Bobcats return just three lettermen from last year’s 18-3, Tri-County Conference championship team and one of those – Bradyn Clark-Gilmore – went down with an ankle injury in the second half Friday. Seven different Bobcats made the scorebook.

“We worked hard,” Abalos said. “That was pure heart to get us back in the game. … I’m extremely proud. Our No. 1 goal was no never be outworked. Those guys are all coachable and competitive.”

Lake finished with 16 points and Isaac Badenhop 14. Brodi Tesznar was a force on the boards and have seven points and Bertz contributed six points and a solid all-around effort.

“Hunter did a great job of penetrating, either finishing or dishing or drawing a foul. We rode that as long as we could. Brodi came in and got a bunch of rebounds. We couldn’t take him off the court because he was getting so many rebounds.”

The Bobcats will play another Division 1 school next week when the travel to Monroe.

“We played Bedford and we didn’t back down,” Abalos said. “We’ll go play Monroe Tuesday and we’re not going to back down. We’re going to be competitive and we are going to get in people’s faces and we’re going to play hard basketball. People won’t want to play us.”

Bedford 62, Whiteford 50

BEDFORD (62)

Kochendoerfer 1 2-2 4, Bachli 1 1-2 3, Nigh 2 1-2 5, Matthews 2(1) 0-0 5, Kohler 11 9-9 31, Links 3(1) 1-2 8, King 0 5-6 5, Ripple 0 1-2 1. Totals 20(2) 20-25 62.

WHITEFORD (50)

Lake 5(1) 5-6 16, Bertz 2(1) 1-1 6, Badenhop 5(1) 3-4 15, Bauman 0 3-4 3, Clark-Gilmore 1 0-0 2, Murphy 0 2-2 2, Marchant 0 0-2 0, Tesznar 3 1-2 7. Totals 16(3) 15-21 50.

BEDFORD            14           21           9             18           –              62

WHITEFORD       10           14           16           10           –              50

Total fouls – Bedford 19, Whiteford 22. Fouled out – Tesznar, Whiteford. Technical fouls – Murphy, Whiteford.

 

 

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