OAK HARBOR – Trailing by just two points with about six minutes left in the fourth quarter, Oak Harbor committed one of its 30 turnovers on the night. Genoa scored on the other end before the scene was repeated three more times in a row, blowing the game wide open.
Matt Bradfield scored 33 points as the Comets topped Oak Harbor, 63-58, in non-league action on Friday.
“We attacked, controlled our emotions, and played with enthusiasm,” Genoa coach Zach Alt said. “We stayed attacking and got some buckets defensively off of turnovers. We didn’t have some calls go our way, but that’s when we controlled our emotions.”
Genoa (1-0) turned a two-point halftime deficit into a win, thanks in part to 19 second-half turnovers by the Rockets (0-1).
“You can’t turn the ball over against a team like Genoa that wants to get out and run a bit,” said Oak Harbor coach Eric Sweet. “Genoa is young and a bit inexperienced like us, but the difference was they got easy buckets off of our turnovers. We stressed before the game that we couldn’t turn the ball over. We had to handle the ball, but we didn’t.”
Bradfield scored six points off of three consecutive turnovers by Oak Harbor before Sweet called timeout. It was to no avail, as another turnover allowed freshman Jacob Plantz to score, increasing the Genoa lead to 53-43, with 4:16 left in the fourth quarter.
“Matt is a junior on a team with no seniors so we expect him to be aggressive,” Alt said. “He finished well at the rim and put himself in a position to succeed.”
Oak Harbor got back to within six points on two free throws by Jeff Winterfield and a bucket from Alec Young, but continued mistakes cost the Rockets down the stretch.
“That was the game,” Sweet said. “They got easy baskets off our turnovers. They used the 1-3-1 zone well. I’m proud of our kids, though. We competed hard and it was a group effort on the turnovers. You can’t blame it on just one kid, but you can’t afford those turnovers if you want to win.”
Genoa led most of the first quarter before a score by Collin Hayslett at the end of the quarter put Oak Harbor on top, 14-13. The Rockets led the entire second quarter and didn’t trail until 3:13 remained in the third quarter on a 3-pointer by Bradfield.
“We executed well on our 1-3-1 zone in the second half,” said Bradfield. “The coaches seen mistakes and corrected them later. We moved the ball and attacked and that has to be our mentality the rest of the season. We have a lot of scorers.”
Oak Harbor out-rebounded Genoa, 29-23, and made 19-of-42 (45.3%) shots. Tate Smith led the Rockets with 22 points.
“Tate played well with his first varsity experience,” Sweet said. “I’m happy with the focus and effort from the kids. A lot of the stuff was mental slips that are correctable. The effort and intensity was there, even if it doesn’t show on the scoreboard.”
Genoa made 22-of-50 (44%) shots and committed 20 turnovers.
“The kids were fighters and persevered,” said Alt. “They played together and all did their part down the stretch.”
Plantz tallied 17 points and six rebounds for Genoa.
“We’re a close group,” Bradfield said. “It’s a family. We love each other and share the ball well. All of us hustled and did a good job.”
Genoa 13-13-14-23 – 63
Oak Harbor 14-14-10-20 – 58
Genoa: 22-50 FG, 17-25 FT, 2-12 3pt (Bradfield), 23 rebounds (Bradfield 6), 20 turnovers. Scoring: Josiah Bradfield 2 0-0 4, Jacob Plantz 5 7-9 17, Sam Sutter 0 0-0 0, Matt Bradfield 12 7-13 33, Drew Bench 2 3-3 7, Noah Edwards 0 0-0 0, Jack Ford 1 0-0 2.
Oak Harbor: 19-42 FG, 16-22 FT, 4-15 3pt (Hayslett 3, Winterfield), 29 rebounds (Smith 9), 30 turnovers. Scoring: Matt Harris 2 0-0 4, Jeff Winterfield 1 5-7 8, Collin Hayslett 5 1-4 14, Tate Smith 8 6-7 22, Alec Young 2 4-4 8, James Malin 1 0-0 2, Raymon Behlmer 0 0-0 0, Aric McAfee 0 0-0 0.