December 2, 2012
ELIDA — Bath won the tournament, got the trophy and had every reason to celebrate after a 67-65 double-overtime win over Elida gave the Wildcats their second ever Tip-Off Classic championship on Saturday night.
Logan Rockhold’s 10-footer in the lane with three seconds to play gave Bath its long awaited win.
“This is only our second one ever so everyone is excited. It’s good for the team and good for the community,” Rockhold said.
But while Elida didn’t get the trophy it wanted, the Bulldogs walked away with lots of respect.
Playing in their tenth quarter of basketball in two nights, playing minus one starter who was injured and another who had fouled out, playing with everyone in the gym knowing Dakota Mathias was going to take every big shot, they still hung in the game until the very end.
Logan Rockhold led Bath with 20 points, 12 of them in the fourth quarter and the two overtimes. Taren Sullivan had 13 points, all but two of them in the fourth quarter and the overtimes. Cole Chambers and Conner Rockhold had 11 points each.
Mathias scored 41 points one night after opening his junior season with 42 points against Lima Central Catholic on Friday night. Ebin Stratton, who was held scoreless in the opener, had 11 points before fouling out.
Bath opened up a 10-point lead, 21-11, two minutes into the second quarter and was up 27-19 at halftime.
Elida erased all of that lead and went up by five points, 40-35, with 5 ½ minutes left in regulation.
After Bath regained the lead, Mathias hit a 10-footer with six seconds left in regulation to send the game into overtime at 51-51. Then he drilled a 3-pointer to tie the game at 58-58 and send it to a second OT.
Bath grabbed the advantage right away in the second overtime and built a 64-59 lead with 35 seconds left on the clock. But over the next 25 seconds, the Wildcats got only a free throw by Sullivan, while Mathias hit a 3-pointer with 19 seconds on the clock, then hit three free throws after being fouled on a 3-point attempt.
That left the game tied at 65-65. Bath coach Doug Davis said his original plan was to get the ball to Sullivan and let him create something. But when Rockhold faced less backcourt pressure than expected, he took the ball all the way into the lane and put up the game-winner.
“It was tough getting it, we had to work overtime. There were a couple times where it looked like we were in control but Elida battled back,” Davis said. “Mathias is a great player, he brought them back every time.”
In the end, Bath’s balance might have tipped the scales in its direction.
“We’ve got some guys who can score, who can shoot the ball. We can share the ball, find the open guy and step up and knock down the shots when we’ve got them,” Davis said.
In addition to playing without Stratton at the end, Elida played much of the second half without starting guard Louis Gray after he injured his wrist.
Lima Central Catholic evened its record at 1-1 behind 29 points from junior guard Martyce Kimbrough.
Jake Williams and Xavier Simpson added nine points each for the Thunderbirds.
The Thunderbirds jumped out to a 17-4 lead in the game’s first four minutes, but Shawnee battled back to cut the lead to five points, 33-28, at halftime.
Shawnee cut the margin to four points in the first minute of the second half but that was as close as it got.
LCC made the game closer than it might have been by hitting only 12 of 33 free throws. This came one night after it hit 11 of 22 in a double-overtime 68-63 loss to Elida.
Thad Vernon led Shawnee with 18 points.