Bluffton 69, Ohio Dominican 67
Beavers collect fourth straight McDonald's tournament championship
By: Brandy Bidlack, sports information assistant
December 29, 2007
BLUFFTON, Ohio - A last-second shot by senior and McDonald's Holiday Tournament Most Valuable Player Nate Overmyer (Payne Wayne Trace) gave Bluffton the win over Ohio Dominican on Saturday, December 29, 2007. With the victory, the Beavers improved to 8-4 on the season, while the Panthers dropped to 7-5. The Beavers collected their fourth consecutive title in the 10th Annual McDonald's of Bluffton Holiday Tournament.
The Beavers jumped out to an early 5-0 lead with a triple from Nick Wilson (Continental/Continental) and a layup by Josh Eichar (North Baltimore/North Baltimore). Using an assist from Wilson, Ben Shindeldecker (Ohio City/Crestview) sank a three-pointer for an 8-2 Bluffton advantage less than four minutes into the game.
P.J. Juenger (Loveland/Archbishop) hit the trey thanks to a dish from Zack Kraus (Findlay/Findlay) to make the score 14-6. A layin by sophomore Chris Singleton (Ada/Ada) and another three-point basket from Nick Wilson gave the Beavers a 24-10 lead at the 9-minute mark.
With just under eight minutes to go in the first half, Rob Luderman (Defiance/Ayersville) fed Shindeldecker for a trey. Luderman and Nate Overmyer chipped in with two points each to make the score 33-22 in favor of the home team.
At the 4:27 mark, Joel Miller (Sugarcreek/Berlin Hiland) dialed long distance. A layup by Aaron Taylor (Antwerp/Antwerp) increased the Bluffton lead to 17 points. Colt Cunningham (Powell/Worthington Christian) hit a trey and converted his free throw attempt for a four-point play which made the half-time score 44-27.
Ohio Dominican started the second half with a free throw and layup by Brian Busch, but P.J. Juenger responded with two points giving the Beavers the lead, 46-30, less than 20 seconds into the second period.
The Panthers gained momentum and went on a 7-2 rally until Eichar could sink two from the charity stripe, making the score 50-37 before the well dried up for the Beavers. Ohio Dominican regrouped and took control as they went on a 10-0 run in the next five minutes of action.
Juenger slowed the Panthers with a three-pointer, but Ohio Dominican responded with two free throws and a layup which cut down the Bluffton lead to just two points with less than ten minutes to go in the second half.
With 5:48 left in the game, Zack Kraus knocked down a jumper to slow down the visitors. Free throws by Cunningham, Eichar, and Juenger gave Bluffton a narrow 65-61 lead with under two minutes left in the contest.
At the 1:10 mark, Ohio Dominican's Sonny Stattmiller tied the game at 65. A layup by Aaron Taylor put the Beavers back on top, but Joe Schmall countered with a layin to knot the score at 67.
With 12.1 remaining on the clock, Bluffton took possession following a timeout to set up the final play. Colt Cunningham took the ball up the court and found Taylor on the left wing. His attempt to win the game was deflected by Matt Winters, but Nate Overmyer grabbed the loose ball and his shot found the bottom of the nylon as the buzzer sounded, giving Bluffton its fourth straight McDonald's title with a 69-67 win over Ohio Dominican.
Nate Overmyer, who was named MVP of the tournament and P.J. Juenger led Bluffton with 10 points each. Juenger grabbed nine boards and blocked a shot on his way to earning all-tournament honors. Colt Cunningham and Aaron Taylor had nine and eight points respectively. Zack Kraus, Ben Shindeldecker, and Nick Wilson each finished with six points, and Wilson also had four boards. Josh Eichar chipped in with five points, four assists, four rebounds, and one steal.
Brian Busch led Ohio Dominican with a double-double, including 20 points and 12 rebounds. Jim McCurdy had 17 points and Sonny Stattmiller ended with 12 points for the Panthers. McCurdy and Joe Schmall were both named to the all-tournament team for their efforts over the weekend.
Bluffton went 15-of-19 (78.9 percent) from the charity stripe, compared to 13-19 (68.4 percent) by Ohio Dominican. The Beavers held a slim 36-35 edge in rebounds over the Panthers in tonight's contest. Bluffton went 22-for-56 (39 percent) from the field and Ohio Dominican hit 26-of-60 (43 percent). Bluffton held Ohio Dominican to 2-of-18 shooting from three-point land, including a 1-of-11 performance by McCurdy who knocked down 4-of-8 against Concordia on Friday night.
The Beavers will return to action on Saturday, Jan. 5, when they host HCAC rival Anderson University. Tip time is slated for 3 p.m. in Founders Hall.