Indians scrap with Wildcats


Onsted’s Austin Davis dunks the ball to help the Wildcats defeat Tecumseh 58-43. Photo by Mickey Alvarado.

Tecumseh High School hosted the undefeated Onsted Wildcats for a highly anticipated varsity boys basketball game on January 30 featuring Austin Davis, a 6’10” 232-pound center, who signed with the University of Michigan. The game packed the Indians’ gymnasium and fans witnessed a scrappy Indians’ squad go toe-to-toe and elbow-to-elbow with their opponents through four quarters of fast-paced non-conference action. 
“It felt like a regional game,” Tecumseh coach Jamie Mossburg said. “It was good for both towns. What a great atmosphere.”
Despite Onsted winning the game 58-43, coach Mossburg thought his boys played one heck of a game.
“Our kids executed offensively and defensively as best as we could,” said Mossburg. “Our game plan was executed by our kids as perfect as it could be. I couldn’t ask for any better of an effort from our team at all.” 
Onsted’s offense was hot right from the start, taking an 8-0 lead in the first few minutes of the opening quarter.
Tecumseh took a timeout and after returning to the court pulled within three points (8-5), but finished the quarter down 13-8.
Davis was forced to sit on the bench just before the end of the first quarter after picking up his second foul in the period. Tecumseh coach Mossburg and the rest of the Indians wanted to see Davis sit the bench as much as possible.
“They’re not the same team when Austin Davis isn’t on the floor,” Mossburg said. “So, one of our objectives is to attack Davis. He’s there primary player from an offensive standpoint. We’re trying to attack him to obviously put him in a bad position in terms of fouling. Certainly, that was part of the strategy.”
Davis calmed down and played the rest of the game without fouling out while one of the Indians key players, Sam Benschoter, fouled out early in the fourth quarter.
After covering Davis for a majority of the night, Tecumseh 6’4” senior Tommy Mammel laid belly-down on the hardwood floor and received an ice pack rubbing.
“It was certainly a physical game,” Mossburg said. “But we held our own and did all that we could to maintain Davis. But when he hits fifteen out of eighteen from the free throw line, he’s a great free throw shooter, he’s not a guy you want to foul but at the same time you make him earn it at the free throw line versus a dunk or a layup.”
Davis tied his previous high-game scoring record for the season, hitting 15 of his 33 total points in the first half.
After returning to the court down 29-21 for the third quarter, Mammel pulled the Indians within six points with the first netter of the second half. Onsted answered back by taking a 34-25 lead by the 5:38 mark of the quarter. Tecumseh cut two points from the point spread and went into the fourth quarter trailing 42-35.
“They have more quality players than just Davis,” Mossburg said. “It was a nice battle.”
Onsted finished the contest with 15 fouls while Tecumseh had 20.
Despite the loss, Mossburg sees the Indians making progress and is looking forward to facing Onsted in district action. Chances are good the undefeated Wildcats will advance past Columbia Central and face the Indians again. Mossburg said his Indians would be prepared.
“Our goal has been to peak in late February, early March,” said Mossburg. “That’s our goal. That’s our focus.”
In addition to keeping some of the Indians’ players from losing their composure against Onsted, Mammel added four rebounds and three assists. Payton Norkey recorded nine points for the Indians while teammates Dylan Smith (2 assists) and Jordan Patterson (6 rebounds, 2 steals) each added seven points. Max Benedict had six points (7 rebounds) while Kevin Sheats (6 rebounds) chipped in three points.
It was a back-to-back game night for the 3-9 overall Indians. Tecumseh hosted Monroe the night before and lost 56-47, falling to 0-6 in the Southeastern Conference.
The Trojans jumped out to a 21-13 first quarter lead that the Indians couldn’t overcome. The first half closed with Tecumseh down 30-23. The Indians outscored Monroe 13-10 in the third quarter but lost the ground they gained in the fourth, getting outscored 16-11 to end the game.
Mammel led the Indians with 17 points and six boards. Benedict added 11 points while Smith contributed nine.
Tecumseh plays next at Bedford on Friday.
“We’ve been playing good basketball. We just haven’t capitalized on opportunities when it’s crucial time,” said Mossburg.


Tecumseh Herald


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Tecumseh, MI 49286

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