The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio


December 8, 2012

Mustangs refuse to spit the bit in win

Grand Valley shows its grit in knocking off visiting Badger

ORWELL — The Little Engine That Could worked and worked from a precarious spot to get its load up a big hill.

After seeing a five-point first-half lead dissipate into a nine-point deficit over the course of nearly a quarter, and not looking so hot in doing it, the Grand Valley Mustangs clawed as hard as they could in beating Badger, 42-40, after a circus shot from Kyle Orgovan fell through the net at the buzzer.

“I think the kids really showed some heart tonight,” GV coach Luke Strohm said. “It was very big for me, and very big for our team, to come back and finish well tonight. We were down after our first game (a blowout loss at Berkshire). We talked in practice this week about our intensity.”

On the game-winner, a loose ball under the Mustangs’ basket got shoved out to Kyle Orgovan with a second left on the clock. He grabbed it, pushed it back up and in with 0.2 seconds left.

Grand Valley (1-1, 1-0 in Northeastern Athletic Conference) battled back from an early 5-1 deficit as Badger showed what would give them the upper hand much of the game — a 3-pointer from Matt Kraml and hot free throw shooting.

Josh Kovats finally hit a 3-pointer of his own for an 8-6 GV edge, but after Jake Vormelker (14 points, 8 rebounds, 4 blocks, 2 steals, 2 assists) hit a 3-pointer of his own midway through the second quarter, Kraml (25 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals) and Joe Gorospe hit five of six free throws to total nine points in the period for a 20-14 lead at the half.

Kraml opened the scoring in the third quarter with a 3-pointer at the 4:30 mark, and an 8-0 run for GV was ended by another short jumper by Kraml to give his team a 25-22 lead after three periods.

Foul shooting was both a blessing and bane in the contest.

A 22 of 26 effort for Badger made the uphill climb even worse for GV as the Mustangs netted just 7 of 20.

Leading, 40-36, after Kraml hit two free throws with 2:02 to play, it took  a Vormelker jumper from the left wing with 1:48 to play and single free throws from Vormelker and Nate Wengerd to forge a 40-40 tie with 40.6 seconds left to play.

Both teams, playing stifling defense all night long, then kicked the ball around until GV had a loose ball on the last second shot get pushed to Orgovan on the right side of the basket.

“I thought we played very well tonight,” Badger coach Chris Mott said. “In fact, both teams played great defense. I was really pleased with our patience tonight. We didn't turn the ball over too much, we played really good defense, but the thing that may have hurt us most was giving up offensive rebounds.”

Prior to the late rally, GV wasn't getting into any type of flow on offense. Then, late in the third period, started getting some second chances to score by grabbing offensive rebounds. While Vormelker was the leader with eight rebounds on the glass, Gabe Kovats (8 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist) keyed the slow push in cutting the gap with all of his boards being on the offensive glass. Second-chance opportunities finally got the ball to the bottom of the nets for the Mustangs, and Orgovan capped it all with his alert play to avoid overtime.

“That Kraml is a nice player for Badger,” Strohm said. “He takes the ball to the hole and finishes well. He killed us at the line. We work on foul shooting in practice a lot, too. We didn't shoot well until we had to, but if we had moved our feet better and not reached in defensively like we did, we would not have put them at the line as often as we did.

“Overall, I'd say it was a well played game for both teams. I'm glad Kyle was on the spot at the end.”

Balance was the norm for the Mustangs.

Vormelker led the way with 14, Gabe Kovats added eight and Orgovan and Josh Kovats each tallied seven.

Kraml was the only player with more than six for the Braves (0-2, 0-1).

Kelly is a freelance writer from Jefferson.

Text Only
  • Danielle Zip-ing along

    Just minutes after Geneva’s Danielle Nicholson holed out on the 18th green at the Gray Course at Ohio State University during her freshman year to win the 2011 Division I state championship, the recruitment process of where she would go to college began.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Maruna headed for Mount

    LeeAnn Maruna never really expected to play collegiate golf. She was so taken aback when the opportunity presented itself, she didn’t know how to respond. After all, the Grand Valley graduate had only been playing the game for a few years.

    July 23, 2014

  • Crate Late Models featured

    The Evergreen Lake Park Campground Crate Late Models, the premier class at Raceway 7, will be featured Friday night as they race for $1,000 to win.

    July 23, 2014

  • Norm He’s the Norm

    In the early part of the 20th century, as golf was taking off in popularity, it was not uncommon for boys to take up the game after becoming caddies.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don A Don McCormack column: The journey is what’s most important

    Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past couple of weeks, you’ve heard over and over and over how it’s been a half-century since one of Cleveland’s big three professional sports teams have won a championship.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Murdick wins as Big Block Modifieds return

    The BRP Big Block Modifed Tour returned to Raceway 7 with 21 of the region’s fastest Modifieds turning out for the scheduled 35-lap event, the first for the Modifieds at the northeast Ohio speedplant since 2005, an event won by Todd Burley.

    July 21, 2014

  • Dale Outdoors Insider, with Dale Sunderlin: Chances for controlled waterfowl hunting

    Waterfowl hunters are invited to participate in special drawings for controlled hunting opportunities, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife. The drawing dates and times are as follows:

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kingsville gets it done

    In a rematch of a previous softball clash between the Kingsville 9-10-year-olds and those from Conneaut, Kingsville had settled thing quickly and decisively in a mercy-rule triumph.

    July 20, 2014

  • TD Club golf A Chris Larick column: TD Club hopes to score

    Though its life was never seriously threatened, the Ashtabula County Touchdown Club has suffered in recent years.

    July 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • Don A Don McCormack column: A heartfelt plea to curb violence

    Like everyone who loves soccer — and the rest of us whose interest level rises dramatically every four years when the World Cup comes around — Kevin Meier was appalled at the recent attack of soccer referee John Bieniewicz in Michigan by a player that resulted in Bieniewicz tragically dying.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

Little League All-Stars July 1 to 12
AP NASCAR Lastest News
AP NASCAR Sprint Cup Schedule
AP NASCAR Sprint Cup Standings
AP Auto Racing Photos
West Side Shootout 2014
Ashtabula County at State Track Meet
Jefferson vs Akron St. Vincent St. Mary Regional Softball
District Track 2014
Jefferson District Softball Tournament
Bob Walters 50 Years
Geneva vs Perry Division II District Semifinal
Sports Week in Review May 12 to May 17
Sports Week in Review May 5 to May 10 2014
Sports Week in Review April 28 to May 3
Sports Video Archive
House Ads
AP Video