DANSVILLE – In the second half of Monday’s Division 3 regional semifinal, Homer struggled to shoot.
The Trojans, leading by three at a couple of points early in the third, saw their scoring dry up entirely later in the third as Bath rallied past them for a 49-39 win.
Homer got a basket from Kyle Landis on its first possession of the second half, then a three-point play from Davey Mohn moments later to take a 27-24 lead.
But the Trojans missed their next 10 shots from the field. For the third quarter, Homer shot 3-of-20 from the floor. In the second half it was 5-of-36.
“We got everything we wanted, but that’s basketball,” Homer coach Jason Wolfe said. “Some nights you’re hot, some nights you’re not. We got good looks. Credit them, they’re a good team. We just didn’t make them.”
Even with some trouble shooting, Homer stayed strong on defense. In the fourth quarter alone Kane Blatter took three charges. The Fighting Bees turned the ball over 19 times in the game.
“Defensively all year we’ve taken that next step,” Wolfe said. “We held them to 49, in districts both teams [Hanover-Horton and Concord] in the 40s. We’re where we need to be defensively. We’re good. We rebound well. We just don’t score the ball well enough yet.”
With that defense, even with the shooting woes the Trojans were able to hold onto the lead well into the third and keep things within striking distance into the fourth. Bath didn’t take the lead for good until Ethan Swenson hit a pair of free throws late in the third to make it 29-27.
“We’ve got such a good senior group that they don’t panic,” Bath coach Gabe Sowa said. “We’ve been down 10 or 12 before and come back in games. Just keep doing what we’re doing. I felt DeVondre [Chandler] gave us a great spark off the bench. We kind of went smaller. We started the game bigger but felt we matched up better in our zone and in our man-to-man smaller.”
Chandler had seven points in the third quarter alone and nine in the fourth to finish with 23 points.
“He’s come a long way since the beginning of the year,” Sowa said. “He’s a kid who you can see can get his shot whenever he wants, and he’s really grown. On the court, at the beginning of the year, there were some turnover issues, but then he got a little more comfortable, he got used to playing with the seniors, and him and Ethan on the floor make our team tough to guard.”
Swenson added 16.
Mohn led the Trojans with 14 points. Chase Bryant had 13 and Landis added eight.
The Trojans opened the game with a 5-0 run before Bath answered with a 7-0 run to take the lead. Homer responded to that with an 8-0 run, capped off by a 3-pointer from Bryant to take a 13-7 lead.
After Chandler and Mohn traded 3-pointers, Homer led 16-10 after one.
In the second quarter, Bryant added another 3-pointer to give the Trojans a nine-point lead, but Bath rallied, getting baskets from Swenson and Chandler before Ryan Knitter added a 3-pointer to get the Bees within a single possession.
Bath briefly took a 21-20 lead on a pair of free throws from Swenson before Mohn fed Landis for a basket just before halftime to put Homer back in front 22-21.
“They went zone and we had worked on it,” Wolfe said. “We got out early with a couple set plays which we ran and executed very well. And we hit a few shots. They even went man, and we got a few looks on our pick-and-roll action.”
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