Jackson Center survives close District Final win

Jackson Center junior forward Aidan Reichert
Cedarville senior guard Colby Cross
Cedarville junior guard Trent Koenig

Vandalia, Ohio — On Friday evening at Vandalia Butler High School, another Division IV District Final took place between the Jackson Center Tigers and the Cedarville Indians. Both teams came into the game having very good regular season performances, both coming in with records of 20-5. Jackson Center, led by Junior, and Shelby County Athletic League’s player of the year in Aidan Reichert were looking to try and advance against another solid opponent in Cedarville led by Senior, Colby Cross who had averaged 17.2 points in the regular season.

The first quarter got off to a fast start as Aidan Reichert and Colby Cross both traded some buckets back and forth, but ultimately at the end of the first quarter Jackson Center held a narrow 15-9 lead. Aidan Reichert led the Tigers with 5 points at the end of the quarter while Colby Cross had 4 of his teams points.

Moving on to the second quarter with the Tigers leading by seven, Colby Cross hit a three pointer with 6:13 remaining in the half to cut the deficit to four, followed by a turnover in the backcourt leading to a Trent Koning fast break layup to cut the deficit to two points. The Tigers though were determined to not let this game slip away as Christopher Elchert hit his one of his two three-pointers in the game with 4:45 remaining in the first half to put his team up six. The Tigers went in to the half with a lead over the Indians by the score of 22-18. It was again Aidan Reichert and Colby Cross leading the way for each of their respective teams with nine points each heading into the second half.

The third quarter proved to be all Tigers as they opened up a big lead as Aidan Reichert scored eight of his teams nine points in the third quarter. Defensively the Tigers appeared determined to not let Colby Cross take control of the game as they held him scoreless in the third quarter as they opened up a 31-22 lead heading to the final quarter.

As the Indians opened up the fourth quarter it was clear the game plan was to clear the lane and let Colby Cross try and take control. Eight seconds into the quarter, Cross had a drive to the basket and got fouled on an and-one layup which cut the deficit to six with 7:52 left in the quarter. It was more of the same for much of the quarter as the Indians defensive intensity picked up quite a bit. With 3:45 remaining in the game Colby Cross hit a three pointer to commence and 8-0 run to open the quarter, with all eight points scored by Cross. With the Tigers leading by two points at 33-30 the Indians fouled Reichert with 13.2 remaining and he missed the front end of the one-and-one. The Indians came drove down court and called a timeout with 6.8 seconds remaining, and out of the timeout Trent Koning inbounded the ball right over Isaiah Ramey’s head leading to a turnover. With 5.4 seconds left the Indians sent Clay Akers to the line again missing the front end of a one-and-one. After a couple Tigers fouls, Cedarville had one final attempt with 0.4 seconds remaining in the game. The Indians inbounded the ball at half court to none other than Colby Cross who heaved a desperation three that missed wide left of the basket giving the Jackson Center Tigers a 33-30 victory.

Aidan Reichert and Colby Cross each finished with a team high 17 points for each of their respective teams. The victory sends Jackson Center on to the Sweet-16 with a matchup on Tuesday evening at UD Arena against the Cincinnati Christian Cougars.

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