Stombaugh’s ‘best game’ leads Redmen

PHOTO BY JONATHON BIRD Bellevue’s Richard Stombaugh is double teamed by Columbian’s Tyrin Smith and Chase Frankhauser during the first half Friday in Tiffin.

Bellevue coach Ed Rich said it was Richard Stombaugh’s best game of the season.

And without star guard Trey Ruhlman, the Redmen needed it Friday at Columbian.

Stombaugh had 16 points and seven rebounds as Bellevue got past Columbian 51-41 in Sandusky Bay Conference play.

The Redmen improved to 6-10, 2-6 in the SBC Lake. Both conference wins have come against Columbian.

Stombaugh was outstanding under the basket. Four of his seven field goals — and half his points — came on baskets that came off teammates’ misses.

“Played hard, played physical,” Rich said of the 6-2 senior post.

“It’s just being in the right position,” Stombaugh said. “Working your (rear) off to get where you want to go.”

That wasn’t easy Friday, as for much of the game, Stombaugh was matched up against a fellow senior, TC’s Tyrin Smith.

Smith had a strong game too, with 13 points.

“(Smith) is not an easy matchup,” Rich said. “He played well offensively. But I thought Richie matched him on the offensive end.”

Columbian stayed right with Bellevue most of the game, trailing by a single point at the end of the first quarter and at halftime. The Tornadoes also erased a 10-point third quarter deficit, as Smith and Bryce Burns combined on a 10-0 run to tie Bellevue at 33 with 2:11 left in the period.

But the Redmen — on a Stombaugh stickback — regained the lead and started an 11-3 run that the Tornadoes were unable to counter.

“Bellevue did a good job of forcing us to play at their pace,” Columbian coach Travis Kinn said. “That kind of disrupted what we wanted to do offensively. And they were able to get a lot of second-chance opportunities and score to set up their defense. When we’re not getting stops, it’s a little bit harder to get out and run in transition, and I thought that was a big key tonight.”

Another key was the rebounding and defense of Caleb Marshall. He finished with 10 points, and made only a single free throw in the final quarter. But he grabbed eight of his game-high 13 rebounds, and was a big reason for Columbian being held to eight points in the fourth.

“I thought he played well, I thought overall our defense was pretty good, actually really good,” Rich said. “(Columbian’s) scorers, they’ve got guys that can score. The Reaves kid is a great scorer, when (Davaunte) Brockington can put it on the floor, he can score it, but I thought we did great.”

Stombaugh agreed.

“We just closed down on shooters, and when the shot went up, we just boxed out and went for the boards,” he said. “It was really a simple game plan.”

Reaves had nine points to go with six boards, while Brockington was held to two points and Burns scored seven.

The Tornadoes slipped to 2-15, 0-9 in the SBC Lake.

The bright spot for TC was Smith, who made three of Columbian’s seven 3-pointers.

“Tyrin did a nice job offensively tonight,” Kinn said. “Guys found him when he was open. That’s a shot he works on, a shot he can knock down. I thought he had a really good offensive game tonight. We’ve gotta work with our bigs and prepare them a little bit more defensively, rebounding, and teach a little better positioning. And that’s something us as coaches need to address.”

For Bellevue, Garrett Vickery had eight points, as did Chase Eisenhauer.

“We’re definitely looking for tournament play right now,” Stombaugh said. “This helps a lot.”