On this night Mogadore is better

By Jim Manion Record-Courier staff correspondent Published:

MOGADORE _ A popular movie at the box office right now is "On any given Sunday." The Portage County League could be titled "On any given night."

Crestwood climbed into a first-place tie on Saturday, and on Tuesday, the Red Devils could have claimed the outright lead in the PCL's American Division race. However, host Mogadore put together a tremendous team effort in a surprising 59-53 upset in a PCL cross-division battle.

The Wildcats (6-7, 4-5 PCL) set the tempo early and controlled the game for four quarters. Crestwood managed to grab the lead just three times Tuesday.

The last Red Devil lead (49-48) came at 4:27 remaining in the contest when Cody Kothera buried his fourth 3-pointer. Crestwood scored only two more baskets in the game, one coming as the buzzer sounded.

Wildcat junior guard Mike Shull drilled a pair of 3-pointers and Andy Francis scored a fastbreak basket for a 56-51 advantage with 2:24 remaining in the game to salt away the victory.

Jarrod Klodt led all scorers with 20 points while Francis tossed in 15 and Shull tallied 11.

Mogadore coach Shaun Morgan was all smiles following the big win.

"We knew that we could not match up against their size so we really worked on setting the tempo," said Morgan. "I think we neutralized their size with the tempo. These guys really responded with a great team effort."

The 'Cats opened the game with an 11-point run and gained their biggest lead with three minutes left in the half at 30-16. But Crestwood (7-8, 6-3 PCL) scored the final eight points of the half and trailed only 30-24 at intermission.

Red Devil point guard Brian Moore stole the ball at midcourt and took it to the hole for a 33-32 advantage at the 5:20 mark of the third quarter, the first lead of the contest for Crestwood.

However, Mogadore scored the next eight points on four free throws, a pair of technical free throws and a basket off an inbound play for a 40-33 margin.

Kothera was the only Red Devil in double figures with 18 points. The forward hit a pair of 3-pointers and scored 10 of his team's 14 points in the fourth quarter.

Crestwood coach Paul Woodard wasn't very happy with the play of his team.

"This team did not want a win tonight," said Woodard. "We got outhustled at both ends of the court."

The Devil coach was extremely upset about his team's performance at the foul line.

"You win close games at the line," he said. "We scored more field goals but hit only 8-of-17 from the line, several of those were key one-and-one shots."

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