Rosecrans too much for Redskins, 65-47

MORRISTOWN – Zanesville Bishop Rosecrans outscored Caldwell 17-2 in a pivotal third quarter and then took care of business at the charity stripe in the final period to score a 65-47 win over the Redskins and claim a Division IV sectional championship Saturday at Union Local High School.

After erasing a three-point deficit in the second quarter to take a 23-19 lead into the intermission, Rosecrans came out firing in the second half as they scored the first 10 points and the final seven to open up a big 40-21 lead after three quarters of play.

Starting at a huge deficit, Caldwell was forced to foul Rosecrans early and often in the final quarter and the Bishops were up to the challenge as they scored all 25 of their final quarter points at the line while missing on just five attempts.

Any chance the Redskins had of a second half comeback likely disappeared when senior standout Tanner Clark came up hobbling in the third quarter after suffering an apparent ankle injury.

Clark managed to return in the final period and tossed in 13 points despite playing with a noticeable limp but Caldwell could not make up any ground on the red-hot Bishops.

“We knew we couldn’t fall behind a good team like them coming in because they have beaten a lot of good teams this year,” said Caldwell head coach Clint Crane. “Once we got down a little bit and then Tanner got hurt they just milked the clock and forced us to foul and to their credit they made their free throws.”

Rosecrans junior guard Aaron Gehlken was lethal from the stripe as he made 15-of-16 in the fourth quarter alone en route to piling up a game-high 29 points.

Joining Gehlken in double figures was Michael Fisher and Carter Hagy with 13 and 10 points respectively.

Caldwell was led by a pair of seniors playing their final game in the black and red in Clark and point guard Jack Ridenour.

Clark exceeded his 19 points per game season average with 20 while Ridenour added 16.

An emotional Crane had high praise for the Redskin senior class of Clark, Ridenour, Caleb Heller and Troy Francis who finished the season with an outstanding 18-6 record.

“These kids had a great year. They won the league (PVC) for the first time since like ’77 or ’78, and they played in a OVAC championship game for the very first time,” said Crane. “They have won 50 games over the last three years or so and have really turned this program around. That says alot about the kind of kids they are.”

Rosecrans (14-9) will advance to open district play on Tuesday night at an undetermined site.