Kobs' tip-in at buzzer wins for Spartans
Mike Kobs can go a whole game without shooting and the Somerset boys basketball coaches don't mind.
Kobs didn't take a single shot in last Thursday's game at Osceola, until the final shot of the game. Kobs grabbed an offensive rebound, put a shot high off the glass and watched as the shot bounded around the rim as the buzzer sounded. His last-second shot was the winning points as Somerset topped Osceola 38-36 on the Chieftains' court.
Kobs' main role for the Spartans is on defense and he helped Somerset hold down Osceola's guards for most of Thursday's game.
"Our defense was the reason we won that game," said Somerset coach Eric Olson.
The Somerset coaches scouted Osceola against Ellsworth and saw the Chieftains struggle against a zone defense. When Osceola jumped to a 16-5 lead in the first half, Olson decided to try the zone defense. Osceola didn't score in the rest of the first half, including a 0 in the scoring column for the second quarter.
Osceola had scored nine straight points in the latter stages of the first quarter. Somerset's Taylor Germain hit two shots in the final 20 seconds of the quarter to cut the margin to 16-9. The Spartans then outscored the Chieftains 10-0 in the second quarter to lead 19-16 at halftime.
It appeared the Spartans were on the verge of breaking the game open in the second half. The Spartans led 32-24 after three quarters and Mike Van Someren scored the first hoop of the second half to build the lead to 10 points.
The Spartan players then decided to try stalling. After seeing Osceola score seven straight points, Olson called a timeout.
"I told the guys we can't be stalling here," Olson said.
Germain then hit a shot, but the Spartans had mostly gone cold. Somerset missed several shots and two free throws in the final minutes. Osceola's Tyler Brown scored with 15 seconds left to tie the game at 36-36.
After a timeout, Somerset brought the ball down, setting up Germain with a shot. His shot missed, bouncing back to Schachtner near the free throw line. His shot glanced off the side of the rim, where Kobs went up for the tip-in at the buzzer.
This was the first points Kobs had scored in eight games. Olson said Kobs is a player who belongs on the court in pressure situations.
"You can put him out there at crunch time and he'll be smart and aggressive," Olson said. "He makes good decisions, doesn't turn the ball over and he's one of our best defenders."
Before the game Olson reminded his seniors this was their last chance to face Osceola. All three seniors responded with some of their best play of the season.
Germain led the Spartans with 17 points, making 7-9 shots. Kobs hit the winning shot and had seven rebounds. Van Someren, fresh off signing with the University of Wisconsin football team, contributed eight points and four rebounds.
"That was without a doubt his best game," Olson said of Van Someren.
Sophomore Mike Schachtner scored 11 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Spartans.
Osceola was led by Cory Hennessey's 15 points.
The Spartans are in second place in the Middle Border Conference after this win. They get their last chance at the MBC leader, Baldwin-Woodville, this Friday. This game will be played in Somerset.
Somerset 38, Osceola 36
Henzler 0 0-0 0, Kobs 1 0-1 2, Germain 8 0-3 17, Anderson 0 0-0 0, Wishard 0 0-0 0, Klis 0 0-0 0, Schachtner 5 1-1 11, Van Someren 4 0-0 8. Totals 18 1-5 38.
Benitz 0 0-0 0, Hennessey 6 1-1 15, Miller 2 0-0 6, Werthmann 0 0-0 0, Steffen 0 0-0 0, Brown 3 0-2 6, Hogen 4 1-2 9. Totals 15 2-5 36.
Somerset 9 10 13 6 38
Osceola 16 0 8 12 36
Three-point goals -- Germain, Hennessey 2, Miller 2. Fouled out -- none. Total fouls -- Somerset 10, Osceola 12.