TONTOGANY — The boys basketball teams from Perrysburg and Anthony Wayne already had met twice this season before Friday’s sectional final at Otsego High School.
The expectation was that the third game would mirror the first two, which were decided by a total of three points.
But Perrysburg coach Dave Boyce had a different expectation.
“We had talked all week about having had chances to take control in the first two games,” he said. “Even though we won one, we never were in control in either game.
“I told the kids, ‘That moment is going to come, and when it does we’re going to take advantage of it.’ And I thought we seized the moment.”
The Yellow Jackets seized the moment twice and claimed a 53-41 victory over their Northern Lakes League rivals.
Perrysburg scored five points in the final minute of the third quarter, then five more in the first minute of the final period to build a 13-point cushion.
Then the Yellow Jackets used an 11-3 finish to claim the win and advance to the District semifinals, where they will face Findlay at Otsego High School at 7 p.m. Thursday.
The Trojans claimed a 64-46 win over Lima Senior in Friday’s sectional title game.
Nick Moschetti scored 21 points to lead Perrysburg (20-3), while Nate Patterson added 18. Matt Fox finished with 18 points to lead Anthony Wayne (13-8).
The first half was a back-and-forth affair in which neither team led by more than five points and the Yellow Jackets led 19-16 at the break.
The third quarter seemed set for more of the same as Perrysburg held a narrow 31-28 lead heading into the final minute of play.
But Quinn Thomas made a 3-pointer with 50 seconds left, and just before the quarter ended Patterson made a jumper from the right elbow on an inbounds play to give the Yellow Jackets a 36-28 advantage.
“Usually I don’t shoot from more than two feet away [from the basket],” Patterson admitted. “I caught it and thought, ‘Why not?’ So I threw it up there, and it went in.
“Having my teammate throw it to me there shows how much confidence my team has in me,” he said.
Perrysburg then got a 3-pointer from Moschetti and a basket in the lane by Trevor Hafner to make it 41-28 less than a minute into the fourth quarter.
The Generals responded with a 3-pointer from Mitchell Betts that sparked a 10-1 run over the next two minutes as Fox followed by scoring the game’s next seven points.
“Give our guys credit: They fought back and cut it to four,” Anthony Wayne coach Bryan Borcherdt said. “I thought our guys showed a lot of guts there, and I was proud of them for that.”
But Hafner scored for Perrysburg to stop the run, and the Yellow Jackets made seven of their last 10 free throws to sew up the win.
While Moschetti’s scoring has been a constant all season, Boyce noted the contributions of Patterson, who backed his 18-point game with six rebounds, and Matt Kaczinski, who had five points and 11 rebounds.
“Nate did a nice job of finishing inside,” Boyce said. “I think the thing he did really well was he caught the ball solidly, then finished [plays].
“And I thought Matt Kaczinski gave us a huge lift in the third quarter with his rebounding, and then in the fourth quarter he was huge getting loose balls. I thought he was big for us in the second half.”
For Anthony Wayne, the loss came down to its inability to connect on 3-pointers as the Generals were just 7-for-25 from behind the arc.
“We just didn’t shoot the ball well,” Borcherdt said. “We knew there were shots we were going to have to bury, and we didn’t bury them.
“Credit Perrysburg for make the plays you need to make to win a game like this,” the coach said.
In Friday’s first game Findlay used a strong outside shooting performance to knock off the Spartans.
The Trojans made eight 3-pointers, seven of which came in the middle two quarters when they outscored Lima Senior 38-23.
Austin Gutting finished with 19 points to lead Findlay (17-5), while Adam Twining scored 17 and Michael Clark 12.
Jay Thomas and Rico Stafford combined to score 38 for Lima Senior (10-14), with Thomas finishing with 21 and Stafford 17.