UPPER SANDUSKY — Saturday evening featured a battle of two teams that entered the game undefeated in Northern 10 Athletic Conference play.
But it’s Colonel Crawford that now stands alone as the only unbeaten team in the Northern 10 after the Eagles went on the road to Upper Sandusky and tamed the Rams by a final score of 64-53.
“We made a good run and got stops. We shared the basketball,” Colonel Crawford head coach David Sheldon said. “(Upper Sandusky) tried to face guard our two All-Ohioans Mason (Studer) and CV (Carter Valentine). I thought they became great teammates finding open guys.”
The Eagles (9-0, 6-0 Northern 10) were led on the night by Mason Studer and Carter Valentine, who each scored 15 points. Junior Braxton Baker pitched in 13 points of his own.
“The key to this game is it can’t be about me, it’s us. I thought when we made our run we were sharing the basketball so well,” Sheldon explained.
Despite the losing effort, Upper Sandusky was paced by Trent Beamer with 14 points. Kaden Holman added 13 points and Zach Sheaffer pitched in 10 points for the Rams.
“He’s (Holman) a good shooter. He’s been shooting lights out at practice. He just has not transferred that to the game yet. I knew it was going to happen,” Rams head coach Jeff Winslow said. “Not to mention he had to guard Valentine or Studer all game.”
Colonel Crawford was able to assert themselves in the first quarter which resulted in a 20-8 lead after the opening eight minutes.
“It was eight to eight and they out-toughed us in that two-minute span. It got away from us right there. We all have to do a better job in that part of the game,” Winslow stated.
Baker paced the Eagles with eight points in the opening quarter.
“The Baker kid can shoot it. You have to pick your poison. You can’t take away everything. Their role players hit shots like they’re supposed to,” Winslow explained.
Beamer picked up three first half fouls for Upper Sandusky, two coming in the first quarter. Beamer still led the Rams with eight points at intermission.
Upper Sandusky was able to play Colonel Crawford even in the second quarter and went to the half trailing 34-22.
Studer was a standout defensively and led the Eagles with 10 points in the first half.
“The difference right now is Studer. He is so disciplined and controls the game. He makes life rough for us,” Winslow explained.
Nolan McKibben and Valentine both chipped in six points in the first half.
The Eagles came out of the halftime locker room and knocked down three three-pointers. Colonel Crawford led Upper Sandusky 52-38 with just eight minutes to play.
Holman scored eight points in the third quarter to keep the Rams in it.
“Credit Upper, they came out in the second half and made a run. We knew they would,” Sheldon explained.
The Eagles did what they did all game and that was weather any storm the Rams were able to throw at them. Colonel Crawford used a complete game to stay undefeated on the season.
Colonel Crawford’s next game is Friday when they host Buckeye Central.
“We still control our own destiny for the league. Lots of things left, we just have to learn from our mistakes,” Winslow said.
Upper Sandusky (8-3, 6-1 Northern 10) travels to Wynford on Friday.
Wynford (3-6, 2-4 Northern 10) defeated Buckeye Central (3-7, 2-4 Northern 10) 54-51 on Saturday night.