By Lenny Sementi
Tuscola’s boys’ basketball team rebounded from two losses to state-ranked teams in the opening rounds of the Monticello Holiday Hoopla to win their final two contests capturing fifth place. Senior guard Tyler Meinhold sealed the deal on the hard-fought final victory with a buzzer beating that led to a win over a good Oakwood squad 44-41 that entered the tourney with just two losses.
Head coach Justin Bozarth’s Warriors reached the fifth place contest with a dominating 48-33 victory over Argenta-Orenea in their final pool play.
“We ended strong, and felt really good about ending the Hoopla at 2-2 after the first day of games,” stated the coach. “The Oakwood win was the first this year we came out victorious versus a team on paper we thought was as good as us or better.”
Meinhold and Haden Cothron did some damage outside, and Braydon VonLanken and Cale Sementi attacked the hoop inside in the win over the Comets. Meinhold and Cothron each connected on three treys in the contest each tallying 11 points, while the two front court players combined for 16 points on a near perfect 7 of 8 from the field. Against Argenta VonLanken and Sementi were again big down low leading the way with 11 and six points, respectively. Luke Sluder was a beast on the boards in both contests grabbing eight rebounds against Argenta and seven rebounds versus Oakwood.
Fifth Place Game
Tuscola 44; Oakwood 41
Oakwood used a pair of threes in the first frame to secure a three-point advantage 10-7 after one period of action. The Warriors kept pace with a workmanlike frame that saw Dalton Hoel and Sluder find Sementi and VonLanken inside for points early. Sluder also swiped a ball at the top of the key for a coast-to-coast layup cutting it to one 8-7 before a shot at the buzzer tallied two more for the comets.
The full story can be found in the Wednesday, Jan. 10 edition of The Tuscola Journal.