Oldenburg Academy's impressive eight-game win streak on the hardwood came to an end with a resounding thud Saturday evening (Feb. 10) following a 51-24 home loss to the Indianapolis Scecina Memorial Crusaders.
Producing just one free throw in the final nine minutes of the contest and failing to reach the halfway point of their seasonal scoring average, the Twisters eventually yielded to their Class 2A foe.
Senior Owen Sporleder capped what was by far OA's most prolific offensive quarter, getting free under the basket on an inbound play to make it a 29-23 game with 1:04 remaining in the third.
However, following a last-second three by Kobe Clancy, the home team went bitterly cold from the field and mustered just two foul shot attempts – senior Nate Folop hit 1 of 2 with 3:05 left in the fourth.
Clancy's shot sparked a run of 15 unanswered points by the Crusaders, who rocketed to a 21-point advantage and left little doubt about the final outcome.
Nearly half of the first period elapsed before either team got acquainted with the scoreboard. At the 4:06 mark, Scecina's Manuel Brown swooped in for a dunk, drawing contact; his free tosses finally broke the scoreless tie.
Twister sophomore Jake Johnson evened the count with a runner in the lane. Two more SMHS free throws were followed by Sporleder's field goal and Kris Hetzer's charity. Reserve Dylan New then drilled a go-ahead 3 in the frame's final seconds.
Oldenburg soon reclaimed the lead when Sporleder found freshman teammate Andrew Oesterling for a kick-out three. OA later went up 10-7 on a short Sporleder make.
The Crusaders, who hadn't made as much of a peep for over four minutes, suddenly came alive in the lead-in to halftime.
A baseline move by Makylin Brown made it a 1-point game with 3:48 to go and, after two scoreless minutes, Clancy intercepted a pass and slammed it home to put the guests in front. The play was pedestrian compared to Manuel Brown's follow-up act. The junior took an alley-oop pass from Cobie Dillard and sent it through in rhythm one-handed, a feat rarely witnessed in the high school ranks. Scecina would go up 15-11 heading into the locker room.
Scoring was fluid on both ends throughout the next stanza, as Dillard started things with a traditional 3-point play. Folop then answered on a dish from Eli Sporleder. A Mackylin Brown 3-pointer pushed the lead back to eight before a Folop tip-in. Three foul shots by the visitors made it 24-15 and precipitated a timeout by OA coach Gary Moorman.
Dillard and Owen Sporleder would trade 3-point baskets, followed by Folop's triple from the corner. After Makylin Brown scored in transition, Scecina coach Rob New stopped play with a timeout, ahead 29-21.
Owen Sporleder led the hosts with 9 points and Folop's eight all came after intermission. On the Crusader ledger, it was Dillard setting the pace with 14 points while Jayvon Hatton and the Browns each tallied 9; Clancy added 5.
Oldenburg (13-6) has its final regular season road trip Feb. 13, traveling to play Rushville at Memorial Gymnasium.
Will Fehlinger can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 812-934-4343, Ext. 112.