By JOE SHOUSE

Sports Writer

BOWLING GREEN -The magical season is over but what a season it was for the Antwerp Archers. However, with the latest developments in the news concerning the coronavirus it would turn out to be the end of the season for every team seeking a state championship in Ohio. Within 24-hours after the game the OHSAA and tournament officials cancelled the remaining games in what had been an ever changing story line.

For the Archers it was a gallant effort that came up a little short. The Archers, undefeated at 25-0 and ranked number two in Division IV was pitted against the 25-0 Bulldogs from Columbus Grove - ranked number one.

It was a game that was meant to be played but maybe sooner than it should have been but that's the way the brackets fell this year. But since the "virus" won out then playing this game as a Regional semi-final game was the right thing -  number one verses number two, win or lose it was a game that kept anyone in attendance on the edge of their seat.

After battling through three quarters the Archers managed to secure a slim two-point lead heading into the fourth period 37-35. Unfortunately for the blue and white, the Bulldogs answered with an 8-0 run to regain the lead 43-37 with 5:37 remaining in the game. A Jayvin Landers basket at the 3:29 mark had the Archers within four 45-41 but they would get no closer.

The Division IV Regional semi-final played before a near capacity crowd at Bowling Green State University, witnessed two teams that  could never get much distance between their opponent.

In the first quarter Columbus Grove built a six point margin over the Archers but two Jacob Savina buckets to close out the quarter had the Archers trailing by just a point at 14-13.

The Archers took the lead on a Jayvin Landers two-pointer with 6:32 showing on the clock and the Archers on top 17-16. The lead went back and forth with five lead changes down the stretch.

Trailing by four the Archers got a much needed basket on a strong drive to the hoop from Owen Sheedy to close the Bulldog gap to just two at 27-25 at the midway point.

The third quarter saw the Archers fall behind by as many as five 32-27 and following a Savina bucket and a free throw from Blake Reynolds the Archers responded with Jagger Landers scoring the Archers next eight points to pull away from the 'Grove with their largest lead 37-33.

Two Bulldog free throws to close out the third quarter had the Archers leading 37-35 heading into the final eight minutes.

The Archers struggled in the shooting department hitting 21-53 of their field goal attempts including just 3-18 behind the arc. 

The Bulldogs took 16 fewer shots than the Archers but finished the night  hitting 20-37 for 54 percent.  At the foul line the Archers connected on all five of their attempts while the Bulldogs went to the line 15 times ,connecting 12.

Jagger Landers led all scorers with 19 points along with nine rebounds. Jacob Savina was also in double figures with 11.

Columbus Grove paced two in double digits led by Tayt Birnesser with 17 including a perfect 8-8 at the foul line and 12 points from Blake Reynolds. Both Reynolds and Birnesser are sophomores. In fact 40 of the Bulldogs 55 points came from the sophomore class.

Antwerp                 13  12  12  13 - 50

Columbus Grove  14  13    8  20  - 55

ANTWERP (50)

Jagger Landers 8-17 1-1 19, Jacob Savina 4-8 2-2 11, Jayvin Landers 4-9 0-0 8, Luke Krouse 2-9 2-2 6, Owen Sheedy 2-4 0-1 4, Blake Schuette 1-2 0-0 2, Austin Lichty 0-4 0-0 0, Jake Eaken 0-0 0-0 0,  Dylan Hines 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-53 5-5 50. Two-point shooting: 21-53 (40 percent). Three-point shooting: 3-18 (17 percent) -  Jagger Landers 2-3, Jacob Savina 1-3, Jayvin Landers 0-5, Luke Krouse 0-4, Austin Lichty 0-2, Owen Sheedy 0-1.

COLUMBUS GROVE (55)

Tayt Birnesser 4-10 8-8 17, Blake Reynolds 4-7 4-7 12, Gabe Clement 4-6 0-0 9, Alex Schneider 4-6 0-0 9, Evan Hopkins 3-6 0-0 6, Ethan Halker 1-2 0-0 2. Totals: 20-37 12-15 55. Two-point shooting 20-37 (54 percent). Three-point shooting: 3-8 (38 percent) - Tayt Birnesser 1-3, Gabe Clement 1-2, Alex Schneider 1-2, Evan Hopkins 0-1.

Rebounds: Antwerp 24, Columbus Grove 28. Turnovers Antwerp 11, Columbus Grove 11. Total fouls: Antwerp 14, Columbus Grove 7.