BRYAN – The Edon Blue Bombers faced a formidable task entering the March 1st Sectional Semi-final contest against the Hicksville Aces. Earlier in the season the Aces manhandled Edon taking a 90-47 decision on December 20th. Despite the difference in records, Edon was also outsized and out-quicked at every position. However, those disadvantages didn’t deter the Bombers efforts for the contest.
Realizing their inability to run with the Aces, Edon began the game attempting to play ball control on offense, and hopefully shorten the game and limit Hicksville’s possessions.
The Bombers were able to execute their plan to perfection for the first two minutes of the contest. However, that all changed dramatically at the 5:52 mark of the opening quarter. It was at that point that Logan Thiel picked off a pass, scored a fast break layup, was fouled and converted the free throw. That followed by three Edon turnovers, allowed Hicksville to foil the plan and take a 9-0 lead.
With 2:08 left in the period, Braden Miller got Edon on the scoreboard with a triple from the right baseline. Hicksville added two more scores before Travis Siebenaler intercepted an Aces pass and scored leaving the Bombers down 13-5 after one period.
The Hicksville pressure man to man defense, and full court press when they scored caused a lot of problems for the Bombers. For the quarter Edon committed 7 turnovers which led to most of the Aces points.
Play began very sloppy in the second period as Edon had two turnovers, and Hicksville three. These led to scores by each team with Hicksville up 17-7.
Edon got a basket from Siebenaler off a nice assist from Miller, then a nice baby hook by Brayden Bauer in the lane to cut the lead to 17-11 at the 4:02 mark, prompting Hicksville leader Tony Tear to call a time out.
Tony Tear scored out of the break, but Siebenaler quickly located Logan Bloir for the Bombers. Hicksville added five more points before Tatum Schaffter added a pair of free throws for Edon. The Aces responded with two foul shots, then a basket by Parker Thiel to close out the half.
Trailing 28-15, in large part due to sixteen turnovers, the Bombers attempted to regroup during the intermission. The miscues provided the Aces with several layups allowing them to make 12-26 field goal attempts. Conversely, Edon was only able to convert 6 of 15 shots.
Siebenaler got another steal an lay up to begin the third quarter for the Bombers. However, Edon returned the favor allowing Greer to get a lay up and make the subsequent free throw after being fouled by Schaffter on the bucket.
Austin Keiss hit Siebenaler with a nice bounce pass for a lay in for Edon, then Tunis scored for the Aces making it 31-19 in favor of Hicksville.
Keiss added another bucket for the Bombers, Michael Myers for Hicksville, then Bloir was fouled and in the process threw up a prayer that somehow went in for the Bombers, however he was unable to connect on the free toss. Siebenaler added his third steal for a score, then Miller swished two charity tosses.
With 2:30 left in the third quarter, Edon had battled back to cut the deficit to 8 points, trailing 35-27. However, the Bombers had three consecutive turnovers to end the quarter, the last two on offensive fouls for push offs by the ball handlers, giving Hicksville a 37-27 advantage heading into the final 8 minutes.
On offensive rebound off his own miss led to a Siebenaler basket for Edon to open the quarter. Unfortunately the turnover bug bit the Bombers hard once again allowing the Aces to go on a 7-0 run and push the margin to 44-29 with a little more than 6 minutes left.
Miller stroked a trey from the right wing, but Tunis answered with a lay up for the Hicksville. Bloir made good on his second of two free throws, then Greer scored for the Aces. Miller responded again, this time with a short jumper. Neidhart made good for Hicksville, and the Aces called a time out with the scoreboard showing 50-35, with 3:24 remaining.
The break served Hicksville well as they out scored Edon 8-3 over the final three minutes to secure a 58-38 win.
Turnovers played a huge part in the Bombers struggles as they committed 27 on the night compared to just 13 for the Aces. Edon shot a respectable 47% from the field, but only attempted 30 shots, making 14. Hicksville was equally adept making 24-48 tries for an even 50%. Ironically both teams went 8-11 for 73% from the foul line.
Edon was led in scoring by Travis Siebenaler who had 12 points. Leading scorer, Braden Miller, who was held to just three points in the first half, finished his career with 10. Logan Bloir added 7 points off the bench, while Brayden Bauer chipped on 5. Fellow freshmen Austin Keiss and Tatum Schaffter added 2 points each for the Blue Bombers.
Parker Thiel led the Aces with 14 points. Logan Thiel and Payton Tunis also scored double figures for Hicksville with 12 and 10 points respectively.
Edon says goodbye to six seniors, Braden Miller, Brayden Bauer, Blake Thiel, Preston Klingler, Jordan Jullian, and Evan Fisk. At the conclusion of the game it was also reported by Andy Brigle from WBNO that Head Coach Kyle Bostater has announced his resignation.
While the Bombers seek a new mentor, the good news for the prospective leader is there is promise in the underclassmen. Juniors Siebenaler and Bloir will be looked upon to provide leadership. Freshmen Keiss and Schaffter gained valuable experience this year and will assuredly be joined at the varsity level next year by other talented members of their class.
SCORING BY QUARTER:
Hicksville – 13 15 9 21 – 58
Edon – 5 10 12 11 – 38
Kent Hutchison may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org