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Boys Basketball: Spencerville wins 7th straight game

Jan. 26—SPENCERVILLE — Spencerville needed a spark on Friday night.

After a shaky opening sequence put his team in an early hole, Kevin Sensabaugh called a timeout to press the reset button.

The Bearcats (11-3) responded by shifting the momentum with an 18-2 run and played downhill for the rest of the game in a 64-46 win over Columbus Grove (7-6).

"I just didn't feel like we were very locked in defensively in the first quarter," Spencerville coach Kevin Sensabaugh said. "We weren't talking to each other very well and we weren't reacting quickly. I talked to them about our effort. That's something I should never have to coach them on. If you want to play at championship level that can't happen. I thought our guys responded pretty well after that."

Spencerville's much-needed spark mainly came from Owen Sensabaugh, who set a new career-high of 27 points, topping his 23-point outing against Minster back on Dec. 22.

Sensabaugh went 6-of-7 in the second half and scored 14 points in the third quarter alone.

"I knew their guards couldn't guard any of our guards, so it was easy for us to go around them, attack the gaps, and finish around the rim," Owen Sensabaugh said. "I felt like I needed to give us a spark to get us going, then we figured it out on defense and it all came together."

Sensabaugh, who established himself as a 3-point threat during his freshman season, didn't hit a single three on Friday night. Instead, he attacked the rim and he made it look easy, shooting a cool 11-of-15 from the floor.

"He's getting a lot better at taking the ball to the hole," Kevin Sensabaugh said of Owen. "Last year he was mostly a spot-up shooter and now teams are taking that away from him. He's really improved his quickness and his ball handling and he's able to get around people now. "

Spencerville trailed for all but 26 seconds of the first quarter. Will Sensabaugh, who finished the night with 11 points, gave the Bearcats their first lead at 13-12, then Evan Osting hit a three as time expired to make it 16-12.

Spencerville opened the second quarter with 11 of the first 13 points and turned that run into a 32-23 lead at the break.

"We decided to defend in the second quarter and when we do that, the offense takes care of itself," Sensabaugh said. "We weren't completely there early in the game, but we figured it out. I think that all came down to our mental focus."

The Bearcats outscored Columbus Grove 32-23 in the final two quarters, matching the halftime score.

Bo Birnesser paced the Bulldogs in scoring with 11 points. Kyle Hopkins added nine and Trenton Barraza finished with eight.

Columbus Grove shot just 36 percent from the floor (17 of 47). Spencerville converted 25 of their 40 shots from the field, good for 62 percent.

The Bearcats have now won seven straight games. In their last 12 games, they're 11-1.

Score by quarters

Columbus Grove 12 11 10 13 — 46

Spencerville 16 16 18 14 — 64

Columbus Grove

Bo Birnesser 11, Kyle Hopkins 9, Trenton Barraza 8, Landon Best 7, Trevon Baxter 6, Keegan Bame 5, Total: 17-6-46.

Spencerville

Owen Sensabaugh 27, Will Sensabaugh 11, Carder Orr 9, Evan Osting 7, Carter Sudhoff 7, Reggie Jones 2, Grady Smith 1, Total: 25-9-64.

3-pointers — SV W Sensabaugh 2, Orr 1, Osting 1; CG Best 2, Birnesser 1, Hopkins 1

Records: Spencerville 11-3, 4-0 NWC; Columbus Grove 7-6, 2-4 NWC

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