The Van Wert County Courthouse

Tuesday, Jun. 2, 2020

VW’s Jackson comes up big in 2OT win

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

BRYAN — Nate Jackson scored all six of his points in the second overtime to lead Van Wert to a 57-55 upset win over Bryan on Saturday afternoon.

The sophomore guard hit a basket with 1:03 left in the second extra session to give the Cougars a 53-49 lead, then converted a pair of free throws with 40 seconds left to increase the advantage to 55-49. After Bryan’s Reece Jackson drilled a trey with 9.6 seconds left to make it 55-52, Jackson was fouled with 7.9 seconds left and hit both foul shots to give the Cougars a five point cushion, before Bryan’s Connor Arthur hit a triple as time expired.

Sophomore Nate Jackson hit a basket and four free throws during the second overtime of Van Wert’s overtime win over the Bryan Golden Bears on Saturday. Bob Barnes/file photo

“As a sophomore he’s still getting comfortable with varsity basketball, but he stepped to the line and made some key free throws and a couple of key rebounds down the stretch,” Van Wert head coach Ben Laudick said. “I’m really proud of our effort after a quick turnaround and a tough loss on Friday night.”

For the most part, the Cougars controlled the first half. Keaton Brown, Owen Treece and Clayton Proffitt each hit a trey in the opening quarter and Van Wert led 15-9 at the end of the period. The Cougars drained four more triples in the second quarter, including two by Proffitt, who finished with 10 points, and one each by Treece and Jake Hilleary, and Van Wert led 31-20 at halftime.

“I thought we defended well in the first half,” Laudick said. “We’ve been trying to tweak the zone we play to try and contain some scoring, and we shot the ball with some confidence. The other thing I thought we did well was rebound out of the zone and that’s one of the things we were worried about, especially against Bryan’s length.”

However, the tables turned in the third quarter, when the Golden Bears held Van Wert to just four points, while Arthur put in five and the 6-8 Jackson scored four to trim the lead to 35-33 at the end of the period.

Bryan took the lead for the first time when 6-6 junior Titus Rohrer converted a pair of free throws with 5:55 left in regulation. The Golden Bears went on to extend the lead to 40-35, but Van Wert fought back and tied the game on a triple by Treece with 1:14 left. Treece finished the game with 21 points.

“We forced a few shots in the third quarter, but some of those shots we took were ones that went in during the first half,” Laudick explained. “We told them to keep shooting and once we finally got one to go in, we made a couple in a row (in the fourth quarter) and made a little run to tie it up. We made just enough plays to force overtime.”

Bryan’s Canon Lamberson missed two free throws with 22 seconds left, and the game went to overtime, but the only points came on a single bucket by Treece and one by Rohrer, sending the game to a second overtime, setting the stage for Jackson’s heroics.

“It’s been tough to be in a lot of games and not come out with the ‘W’,” Laudick said. “This is one that a lot of people might say we weren’t supposed to win, but hopefully this will catapult us into the stretch run of the regular season and into the tournament.”

Van Wert will play at Delphos St. John’s on Tuesday, then will host Elida on Friday and St. Henry on Saturday.

Scoring summary

Bryan 9 11 13 11 2 9 – 55
VWHS 15 16 4 9 2 11 – 57

Bryan: Braiden Showalter 1-0-3; Connor Arthur 4-5-13; AJ Martinez 2-0-5; Titus Roher 5-3-13; Reese Jackson 8-2-20

Van Wert: Clayton Proffitt 3-1-10; Owen Treece 7-3-21; Keaton Brown 3-0-8; Jake Hilleary 3-4-12; Nate Jackson 1-4-6

JV: Van Wert 43-37

POSTED: 02/02/20 at 10:27 pm. FILED UNDER: Sports