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Court Report

Boys basketball: Seth Hurd's defense the difference down the stretch as Vermilion edges Oak Harbor

  • 122018-VERMILION-VS-OAK-HARBOR-TRF02

    Vermilion High School's Mason Montgomery (12) dribbles the ball towards the hoop and looks to make a pass while Oak Harbor High School's Blake Booker (12) attempts to block him on Thursday, December 20.

    THOMAS FETCENKO / CHRONICLE

  • 122018-VERMILION-VS-OAK-HARBOR-TRF01

    Vermilion High School's Mason Montgomery (12) passes the ball around Oak Harbor High School's Clay Schulte (5) and Blake Booker (12) on Thursday, December 20.

    THOMAS FETCENKO / CHRONICLE

  • 122018-VERMILION-VS-OAK-HARBOR-TRF03

    Vermilion High School's Jonah Pfeil (4) takes the ball out as Oak Harbor High School's Hunter Wilkins (0) runs behind on Thursday night, December 20.

    THOMAS FETCENKO / CHRONICLE

  • 122018-VERMILION-VS-OAK-HARBOR-TRF04

    Vermilion High School's Jonah Pfeil (4) passes the ball while Oak Harbor High School's Clay Schulte (5) and Jac Alexander (2) guard Pfeil on Thursday night, December 20.

    THOMAS FETCENKO / CHRONICLE

  • 122018-VERMILION-VS-OAK-HARBOR-TRF05

    Vermilion High School's Jonah Pfeil (4) takes a shot as Oak Harbor High School's Gage Brough (1) and Clay Schulte (5) surround him to try to block Pfeil's shot on Thursday night, December 20.

    THOMAS FETCENKO / CHRONICLE

  • 122018-VERMILION-VS-OAK-HARBOR-TRF06

    Vermilion High School's Seth Hurd (5) lays the ball up as Oak Harbor High School's Clay Schulte (5) and Gage Brough (1) reach their arms up in an attempt to block the shot on Thursday night, December 20.

    THOMAS FETCENKO / CHRONICLE

  • 122018-VERMILION-VS-OAK-HARBOR-TRF07

    Vermilion High School's Mason Montgomery (12) lays the ball up while Oak Harbor High School's Gage Brough (1) raises his arms to swat at the shot on Thursday, December 20.

    THOMAS FETCENKO / CHRONICLE

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OAK HARBOR — The second time was the charm for Vermilion in a 53-50 Sandusky Bay Conference Bay Division win over Oak Harbor on Thursday night.

Senior guard Seth Hurd forced a pair of turnovers — one that counted and one that didn’t — in the game’s final minute to lift the Sailors (6-0, 3-0 SBC) to the win.

The first play he made came with the game tied at 50 and 31.6 seconds showing on the clock but didn’t help Vermilion. Hurd’s defensive pressure caused Rockets point guard Jac Alexander to bounce the ball off his foot and into the backcourt.

Alexander dove on the ball and called a timeout, and instead of an Oak Harbor turnover the timeout was granted.

The second time Hurd left no room for error from the referees. After the timeout he cleanly stripped Alexander at the midcourt stripe, grabbed the ball and drove for a basket with 16.7 left. He was fouled on the play, and although he missed the free throw, senior Mason Montgomery grabbed the rebound and pitched it back to Hurd, who was immediately fouled.

Hurd missed the front end of a one-and-one, but Montgomery swooped in for the rebound again and was fouled with 2.3 seconds showing on the clock.

Montgomery split a pair of free throws to give the Sailors the three-point win.

The game ended when Alexander’s desperation 3-point attempt from 50 feet missed wide left.

Alexander had a big game for Oak Harbor (4-2, 3-1), scoring 27 points, but at the end when the game was on the line Vermilion coach Kurt Habermehl put Hurd on him.

“I didn’t guard him the whole game and Coach put me on him at the end,” Hurd said. “I knew I had to stop him. With that first turnover, the refs can’t make every call so you have to forget about it and move on to the next play. That’s what I did.

“I was able to stop him again and score.”

Hurd suffered a broken ankle early in the football season. Habermehl likes how far he has come since the injury.

“He’s been playing at about 80 percent all year, coming nine weeks off of surgery,” Hebermehl said. “I thought tonight he looked like the old Seth Hurd. He was fast, he was aggressive and he wasn’t afraid to do stuff. I thought he was the catalyst for us tonight.”

Montgomery paced Vermilion with 15 points, but it was his 11 rebounds Habermehl wanted to talk about after the game.

“Some people are going to look at the score tomorrow and see he only had 15, but rebounding the basketball he was a stud tonight,” Habermehl said. “Defensively he was pretty good, too. You can’t just look at the points with him because he affects the game in so many other ways.”

Vermilion trailed 43-40 heading into the fourth quarter.

“We have a lot of seniors that have been together since fifth grade,” Hurd said. “We know each other so well. We know when it’s crunch time and when we have to stay focused and play as a team.”

The Sailors seemed to have control of the game early, leading 20-12 in the second quarter, but Oak Harbor closed the half on an 11-2 run to take a 23-22 lead into halftime.

Vermilion forced 16 turnovers, four in the final three minutes.

“They have a great team over there at Vermilion,” Oak Harbor coach Eric Sweet said. “Those seniors have played three years of varsity basketball. I loved them as sophomores and they’re even better now.

“I have a great group of kids in my locker room, too. We had some great looks, some great opportunities, and some balls that didn’t bounce our way. My kids battled their tails off tonight and I’m proud of them”

Contact Mike Perry at (440) 329-7135 or macsportstalk@gmail.com.

Vermilion 53, Oak Harbor 50

VERMILION (53): Jonah Pfeil 4-2-11, Seth Hurd 3-0-6, Mason Montgomery 4-7-15, Reese Miller 7-0-14, Zach Kovach 1-0-2, Ryan Habermehl 2-0-4, Sterling Benko 0-1-1. Totals 21-10-53.

OAK HARBOR (50): Hunter Wilkins 2-0-4, Jac Alexander 9-5-27, Clay Schulte 3-0-9, Blake Booker 3-0-8, Gage Brough 1-0-2. Totals 18-5-50.

Vermilion     14   8 18 13 — 53
Oak Harbor 10 13 20   7 — 50

Three-point goals: Vermilion 1-12 (Pfeil), OH 9-19 (Alexander 4, Schulte 3, Booker 2). Field goals: Vermilion 21-44 (47.7 percent), OH 18-39 (46.1 percent). Free throws: Vermilion 10-16 (62.5 percent), OH 5-7 (71.4 percent). Rebounds: Vermilion 31 (Montgomery 11), OH 19 (Schulte 7). Turnovers: Vermilion 14, OH 16. Total fouls: Vermilion 10, OH 12.

Junior varsity: Vermilion, 49-43 (OT)

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