By Rob Kiser
Sometimes, things just don’t go as planned.
And that was certainly the case for the top seeded Russia boys basketball team Saturday night.
Third seed Fort Loramie opened an 18-point lead in the third quarter and held on for a 59-50 upset in Piqua D-IV sectional basketball at Garbry Gymnasium.
Russia’s season ended at 18-6, while Fort Loramie improved to 20-5.
“We had a game plan going in,” Russia coach Spencer Cordonnier said. “And sometimes things don’t work. Things just didn’t go as we planned.”
And while beating a Shelby County Athletic League team — especially a team of Fort Loramie’s caliber — three times is a challenge, Cordonnier made no excuses.
“I am not a big subscriber of that theory,” he said. “Shoot, it is hard to beat them one time, let alone three.”
Cordonnier just hated to see the season end so soon for seniors Dylan Cordonnier, Drew Sherman, Sam Cook, Ethan Monnier, Drew Poling and Cole Tebbe.
“These seniors have been part of four Shelby County League titles,” he said. “That is something in itself. They have been part of a lot of wins. I feel bad for them. But, they are going to go on an do bigger and better things one day.”
As for the game itself, Fort Loramie set the tone early.
The Redskins outscored Russia 24-2 in the paint in the opening half and 13-0 off turnovers in taking a 18-13 first quarter lead and stretching it to 31-18 at the half.
“They just came out and took it to us,” Cordonnier said about the Redskins inside dominance led by 6-foot-7 Tyler Siegel. “Give them credit. And we really struggled to score in the first half.”
That continued into the third quarter and when Tyler Siegel hit two free throws at the 6:12 mark of the third quarter, the Redskins led 37-19.
But, Russia would not quit.
When Dylan Cordonnier converted a 3-point play with 1:37 to go, the Raiders trailed just 55-49.
But, that is as close as they would get.
“We had a chance to get within three,” Cordonnier said about the closing minutes. “We had the ball down 55-49. There is not quit in these kids. That is a credit to their parents and the way they were raised.”
Cordonnier has 12 points and four assists for Russia, while Monnier and Jack Dapore scored nine points and Tebbe grabbed six rebounds.
Tyler Siegel had 17 points, nine rebounds and four blocked shots for the Redskins.
Dillon Braun added 13 points, seven rebounds and five assists, while Austin Siegel scored nine points.
Russia finished 14 of 39 from the floor for 36 percent — including seven of 21 from 3-point range for 33 percent. The Raiders made 15 of 28 free throws for 54 percent.
Fort Loramie made 19 of 40 shots from the floor for 48 percent — including one of seven from behind the arc for 14 percent.
The Redskins converted 20 of 27 free throws for 74 percent.
Loramie dominated the boards 34-18 and had 12 turnovers to Russia’s 11.
Despite that, they outscored them 21-6 off turnovers and 32-10 in the paint.
“This game is just a small part of life,” Cordonnier said. “And if I have taught them just one thing, I have done my job.”
Including the fact that Saturday night was just one of those nights.
Fort Loramie (59)
Evan Berning 2-3-7, Dillon Braun 5-3-13, Cody Gasson 1-1-3, Austin Siegel 4-1-9, Tyler Siegel 5-7-17, Nick Brandewie 1-5-7, Eli Rosengarten 1-0-3, Nate Raterman 0-0-0. Totals: 19-20-59.
Dylan Cordonnier 2-7-12, Drew Sherman 1-3-6, Cole Tebbe 1-0-2, Jack Dapore 3-2-9, Daniel Kearns 2-2-6, Ethan Monnier 3-0-9, Drew Poling 0-1-1, Hunter Cohee 2-0-5. Totals: 14-15-50.
3-point field goals — Fort Loramie: Rosengarten. Russia: Cordonnier, Sherman, Dapore, Monnier (3), Cohee.
Score By Quarters
Fort Loramie 18 31 43 59
Russia 13 18 30 50
Records: Fort Loramie 20-5, Russia 18-6.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.