HAMLER – On a night when we went back in time for a bit to 1997, back when Rams current coach was still in a Rams uniform, the Patriots of Patrick Henry looked to get back to the glory years of Patriots basketball.
On hand Thursday night were most of the members of the 1997 state champion basketball team, a team that was honored between JV & the Varsity game, went 23-4 and defeated Cleveland Villa-Angela St Joseph’s 63-61 for the DIV III state championship.
A member of that ’97 championship team is current Patriots head coach Bryan Hieber. Hieber and the 6-0 Patriots looked to remain unbeaten as they welcomed in the much improved 4-2 Tinora Rams in a pre holiday non-conference matchup.
In another game where Tinora found themselves on the short end of the stick, literally, as only two Patriots were shorter than the tallest Ram. If height wasn’t enough of an issue, the sweltering temperature inside the “House of Heat” would due in the Rams as their short bench couldn’t match the Patriots who went 10-12 deep.
The Rams would battle the Patriots early and throughout the first quarter. Tinora’s Eli Plassman would drain three 3 pointers from deep in the first five minutes, the Patriots Nash Meyer would match Plassman, bucketing two of his own three pointers. Patrick Henry would grab a 16-11 first quarter advantage.
Quarter two would see the Patriots height advantage slowly start to show, although the Rams would trail just 25-20 at the half, at times the lead seemed larger however.
Tinora’s leading scorer, Luke Harris was held to just six first half points, and just 11 for the game, nearly 10 points under his season average.
The Patriots were led in the initial half by Gavin Jackson with seven. Jackson would bucket 11 for the game to lead the Patriots who had eight players in the scoring column.
Patrick Henry would increase their lead to 10 over the Rams to end the third both 6′ 5″ players, Berman, and Hieber would tower over Tinora, taking a 37-27 lead.
The Patriots defense would limit the Rams to just five fourth quarter points, pulling away down the stretch for a 47-32 win over the Rams.
Tinora drops their second straight game, falling to 4-3. Tinora will travel to Wauseon on Dec 27 to take on the Indians.
Patrick Henry remains perfect at 7-0. The Patriots will take part in the Henry Co Classic at Napoleon vs Napoleon on Dec 28 & Dec 30. PH, Liberty Center, Napoleon, & Holgate
PATRICK HENRY 16-9-12-10-47
Tinora scoring: Eckert 4, Plassman 11, Rittenhouse 1, Harris 11, Ackerman 5
Patrick Henry Scoring: Creager 7, Jackson 11, Rosebrook 4, Behrman 8, Meyer 6, Johnson 3, Hieber 4, Rosegarten 4
JV PH 42-36
Rams – Spychala 14
PH T Smith 12