by Josh Decker
The Cedarville Yellow Jackets lost a close 65-61 contest to NABC Division II No. 21 Findlay (16-4) on Wednesday night in the final home game of the regular season for Cedarville. The loss is the Jackets’ second straight, and Cedarville drops to 10-7 in the G-MAC where they sit at fifth place.
Junior Branden Maughmer paced the Jackets’ offense, scoring 19 points on an efficient 9-13 from the floor. Junior Isaiah Speelman finished the night with 12 points, and freshman Jayvon Maughmer produced 10 points off the bench.
Branden Maughmer started off the game for Cedarville with a quick steal for an easy layup to give the Jackets’ the first points of the game. Shots were falling early for the Jackets, and Cedarville’s lead was 12-4 by the first media timeout of the half.
Findlay closed the gap before the Yellow Jackets’ came up empty on offense eight straight possessions, which included two straight turnovers that allowed Findlay to take the lead.Two Conner TenHove baskets and a Jayvon Maughmer triple gave Cedarville a 29-28 edge, but the Oilers’ shooters stayed hot and finished the first half with a 38-31 lead over the Jackets.
Going into the locker-room, Findlay held a clear advantage over Cedarville in shooting percentage, as the Oilers had converted at a red-hot 59 percent from the field and 50 percent from deep. The Jackets’ were only 44 percent from the field and an ice-cold 3-15, or 20 percent, from behind-the-arc.
Two of Cedarville’s top scorers, Kollin VanHorn and Quinton Green, had also gotten into foul trouble in the first half, which limited both to only about five minutes of game action in the first twenty periods.
The Jackets’ came out of the break with an Isaiah Speelman bucket, but were down 44-39 by the under-16 media timeout.
A Branden Maughmer 3-pointer gave Cedarville back the lead with eight and a half minutes to play and the score at 50-49. The Jackets and Oilers continued to exchange the lead before Findlay managed to go up 63-57 with two minutes remaining.
The Yellow Jackets’ cut the lead to two and then made a defensive stand with 22 seconds left, but surrendered an offensive rebound to Findlay and were forced to foul.
A couple free throws for the visiting team put the game out of reach for the Jackets as the clock expired with Findlay holding on 65-61.
Cedarville finished the night shooting 43 percent from the field and only 27 percent from behind-the-arc. Findlay’s hot offense shot 52 percent from the floor and 50 percent from deep.
Cedarville did control the glass in the game, finishing with a 33-27 rebounding advantage, but the Jackets’ were outscored 34-30 in the paint.
Cedarville also committed 12 turnovers in the game, and a couple came at key times late in the game.
The Yellow Jackets will return to action when the team travels to Hillsdale for the regular season finale on February 27th. Cedarville came up just short in the previous meeting when the Chargers edged out the Jackets’ 83-79 in double overtime back on February 2nd in the Callan Athletic Center. Tip-off for Saturday’s game is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. as Cedarville looks to close out the regular season with a victory before heading into the G-MAC tournament next week.
Josh Decker is a junior Sport Business Management major, and a sports reporter for Cedars. He loves playing sports with friends, and spends much of his free time as a student assistant for the Cedarville men’s basketball team.