Boys Basketball: Pandora-Gilboa's run halted by Toledo Christian

Mar. 12—BOWLING GREEN — Pandora-Gilboa coach Mike Lee called his team's start on Tuesday night "uncharacteristic."

That was an accurate description for the Rockets, a sound offensive team, who didn't get its first points until the 2:05 mark of the first quarter.

Although Pandora-Gilboa managed to fight its way out of that early hole and even take a second-quarter lead, a disastrous third quarter, which included an 11-0 run from Toledo Christian and a 1 for 13 shooting slump was the ultimate demise of the Rockets in a 51-43 regional semifinal loss at the Stroh Center on the campus of Bowling Green State University.

Toledo Christian's win was its 22nd in a row. They'll move on to play LCC, who was victorious over Old Fort in the second game, back in Bowling Green on Friday night with a trip to Dayton on the line.

Pandora-Gilboa concluded its season at 23-3.

"They really gave us problems early," Pandora-Gilboa coach Mike Lee said. "Maybe that was some nerves or their quickness. They've also got tremendous length and they guard the ball well. If you pull all those things together, that makes life really difficult. We dug ourselves a hole, but to our kids' credit, we kept battling."

Toledo Christian, a team that normally averages almost 70 points per game, led 10-6 after one despite Pandora-Gilboa's shooting woes.

Both sides settled down a little in the second quarter, and an uptick in the action followed.

Aiden Harris sat the final four minutes of the first quarter with two fouls. When he re-entered the game, he scored eight of Pandora-Gilboa's next 12 points, including back-to-back threes to give his team its first lead at 18-17 with just over three minutes left in the half.

"I just have to give credit to my teammates," Harris said. "If I'm not hitting or if I'm in foul trouble, they step up. And when I got back in I was fortunate enough to get a few big shots in the first half."

Three lead-changes followed Harris's second triple before Toledo Christian went back up 22-20 at the break.

Two minutes into the third quarter, Nate Maag hit a shot to tie the game at 24. It turned out to be Pandora-Gilboa's last field goal of the quarter.

Toledo Christian went on to score 11 straight points. Karter Koester and Conye Gaston had four each during the run.

"We broke down in a couple of possessions where we didn't rotate as well as we had earlier," Lee said. "Then we got a little stagnant while they were active. We tried to survive as much as we could toward the end of the third, but they made it incredibly difficult on us with their quickness and ability to get to the rim."

Toledo Christian built a 36-29 lead after three. From that point on, the Eagles finished the job at the free-throw line, where they shot 79 percent on the evening.

"We hit 19 of 24 from the free throw line and that's obviously huge," Toledo Christian coach Tyler Boris said. "We made plays when we had to. It wasn't pretty, but that's not what matters in March. What matters is that the win.

"You have to be able to win games in multiple ways during the tournament. Defenses tend to be pretty good. We knew we probably weren't going to score our average, but we did whatever it took to get it done tonight."

Xandyr Hesson and Karter Koester each scored 13 points for Toledo Christian, who made 15 of its 30 shots from the field.

Pandora-Gilboa got a game-high 21 points and 10 rebounds from Aiden Harris. The Rockets hit 14 of its 39 shots, good for 35 percent on field goals.

Pandora-Gilboa also held the advantage in rebounding 24-21, but lost the turnover battle 14-11.

Toledo Christian 51, Pandora-Gilboa 43

Score by quarters

Toledo Christian 10 12 13 16 — 51

Pandora-Gilboa 6 14 6 17 — 43


Xandyr Hesson 13, Karter Koester 13, Kalon Butler 11, Conye Gasson 10, Tyler Criss, Totals: 15-19-51


Aiden Harris 21, Aidan Morris 8, Colin Harris 6, Nate Walker 4, Owen Huffman 2, Nate Maag 2, Totals: 14-11-43

Three-point goals: P-G —A Harris 4; TC — Hesson 2.

Records — Pandora-Gilboa 23-3; Toledo Christian 26-1

Reach Chris Howell at 567-242-0468 or on Twitter at @Lima_Howell