Both the Edgerton Bulldogs and the Toledo Christian Eagles had very respectable shooting nights from the free throw line Friday night in their DIV Sectional Basketball Championship battle at Swanton High School. The Bulldogs shot 72.7% while the Eagles were a touch better at 76.3%. The problem, however, is that percentages can often be misleading. Edgerton’s number came on 8 of 11 shots while Toledo Christian’s number came from 29 of 38 foul shots including 16 of 22 in the fateful fourth quarter which spelled the difference in the Bulldogs’ 48-38 loss.
Despite the considerable difference in attempted and made free throws, the game was very close for most of the way. The Toledoans jumped out to an early 7-2 lead but Dustin Miller scored Edgerton’s next five points on a three-point play and a short jumper. A layup by Delano Smith, his eighth point of the frame, gave the Eagles an 11-7 lead after one quarter.
The contest grew even tighter in the second quarter when the Bulldogs rallied from a 19-13 deficit with a bucket from Cade McClellan and a basket from beyond the arc by Devin Herman to make the score 19-18 as the half came to a close.
Quarter number three was as close as possible but also foretold of what was to come. The Eagles only scored once from the field, a trey from Smith, but sank six out of six from the charity stripe. Four points each from Carter Knecht and Jake Siebenaler and two foul shots courtesy of Tyson Curry sent the game into the fourth quarter tied at 28 all.
Most of the last quarter was spent with a player walking up to the line and shooting with no opposition. Unfortunately for Edgerton, it was Toledo Christian that did the bulk of the shooting. Still tied at 35-35 with 4:25 left in the game the Eagles began a parade to the free throw line and drained the next 13 out of 15 while Edgerton went suddenly cold from the field and intentionally fouled to get back in the contest.
The Eagles continue on with a trip to the District tournament at 19-4 while the Bulldogs end their season at 8-16.
Bill O’Connell may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org