Jets beat Jay County days after loss

Staff Writer

By ERIC MANN
Decatur Daily Democrat

MONROE — Seventy-two hours is not very long and four minutes is almost the blink of an eye.
Adams Central rededicated itself in the 72 hours since its 52-31 loss to Jay County last Saturday and dominated at the foul line in a four-minute overtime on Tuesday to turn the tables for the most exciting victory of the season, 51-45, in the opening round of the 96th-annual Allen County Athletic Conference Tournament—Indiana's oldest.
The Jets (6-5) almost won in regulation, but a badly missed three-point try inside 10 seconds by Matt Franks turned into a rebound and layup by JC's Mike Schlechty to even the score at 41, as the last two seconds ticked away.
In the extra period, however, the Jets bagged 10 of 14 free throws (71.4%) at precisely the right time, while the 8-4 Patriots managed only a three and one of two foul shots. AC's accuracy at the stripe was in contrast to its measly eight of 16 in regulation. AC head coach Aaron McClure called the Jet lead in OT "comfortable until late," when Jay County missed two threes that could have sent the contest into double-overtime inside seven seconds.
"Yeah, that was a good one. We made just enough to win," said McClure in radio comments.
While AC's "Downtown" Kevin Brown was the offensive standout with 30 points (including five for five threes in the first half, all nothing but net) and received great defensive plaudits from McClure afterwards, the coach pinpointed a sterling defensive play by Lucas Van De Weg midway through overtime as "the play of the game."
The Patriots got the OT tip and controlled the ball by outside passing and just by holding it near mid-court.
However, all that changed when Van De Weg intercepted a pass and headed the other way. McClure said he was telling someone something and looked back at the floor just in time to see that Lucas had the ball.
As McClure noted after the game, the Jets scored on that possession — two FTs by Brown, the team's best shooter — and that created momentum. Coach M noted that "very often, the team that scores first is going to win."
While Jay County kept missing shots — it had a bad night inside, with probably 15 close-in attempts going off or over or around the rim — the Jets methodically added to the lead as Dylan Miller, Brown, and Colton Yergler each went one for two to make it 46-41 by 59.2 seconds.
Franks airballed a three at 47 seconds (the third trey miss in OT by the team), but Parker Grimes got a steal and made a foul shot at 43.1 for a 46-42 score.
Yergler bottomed two FTs at 41.7 seconds to make it 48-42.
Another triple was missed by JC, then Brown went one for two at the stripe at 19.7 for a 49-42 edge.
The Patriots' Ryan Schlechty knifed a trey at 13.1 for a 49-45 margin and AC called time out at 12 seconds.
After the inbounds, Brown was fouled and sank both at 10.7 to create what became the final score.
The contest ended after two more missed threes by JC, making it one for seven from deep in OT.
"Every possession counts in overtime and there's so much pressure when you're behind," McClure stated.
Speaking of Brown, he said the 30 points were spectacular, but he wanted to focus on Kevin's "D," since "we challenged him" to play better than he did on Saturday. "He needs to do that the rest of the year," McClure said.
Brown had 18 points at halftime, was scoreless in the third period, got six in the fourth (two twos and two for two at the line), and went six for eight at the stripe in OT. He also had two steals and two rebounds.
Van De Weg put up nine points, four rebounds, and two thefts.
Yergler had six points and four rebounds.
The 6-8 Miller added four points, but was huge inside with 14 rebounds and 11 blocked shots as JC swarmed in the lane and outrebounded AC 35 to 27.
The Patriots were led by Mike Schlechty's 14 points and 11 rebounds; Ryan Schlechty's eight points and three assists; Grimes' seven points and eight rebounds; and Wyatt Geesaman's six points, seven rebounds, and two assists.
Oddly, Adams Central had a better shooting night in threes than in ones: 63.6% (seven of 11) vs. 60% (18 for 30).
JC shot a lowly 21.7% beyond the arc (five of 23) and 58.8% at the line (10 of 17).
The Patriots burst to a 7-0 lead, but the Jets lead 11-9 at the end of the first quarter, with Brown bagging two threes and a layup.
After a tie at 11, Brown's three triples in period two helped give Central a 23-14 lead. His last trey was from way back in a corner, with two Patriots in his face.
In the third period, AC built a 28-18 lead, with Van De Weg burying a three for that bulge, but JC came right back with three of four FTs by Mike Schlechty and a triple by Gabe Link to make it 28-24.
The Jets led the whole fourth period until the tying basket.
Adams Central's next tourney game will be against Bluffton at 6 p.m. on Friday at Jay County.

SCORE BY QUARTERS
JC 9 5 10 17 4 45
AC 11 12 7 11 10 51

Central 2P 3P FT TP
Yergler 1-5 0-1 4-8 6
VanDeWeg1-2 2-4 1-2 9
Brown 3-11 5-6 9-13 30
Voirol 0-2 0-0 2-4 2
Franck 0-0 0-0 0-0 0
Miller 1-4 0-0 2-3 4
Totals 6-24 7-11 18-30 51

Jay Cty 2P 3P FT TP
L. Grimes 1 0-2 0-0 2
Link 0 1-2 0-0 3
Arbuckle 1 0-0 0-0 2
Ninde 0 0-3 0-0 0
R.Schlechty1 2-7 0-2 8
P. Grimes 2 0-2 3-4 7
Geesaman 2 0-0 2-3 6
M.Schlechty3 1-3 5-8 14
Franks 0-1 1-4 0-0 3
Totals 10-24 5-23 10-17 45

Turnovers: AC 11, JC 8
Steals: AC 9 (Yergler 4, Van De Weg 2, Brown 2), JC 6 (Link 2)
Assists: AC unavailable, JC 5 (R. Schlechty 3, L. Grimes 2)
Rebounds: AC 27 (Miller 14, Voirol 4, Van De Weg 4), JC 35 (M. Schlechty 11, P. Grimes 8, Geesaman 7)

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