Black River's Jonathan Herb puts up a shot against Firelands' Alex Angle in the first half of Friday's game at Firelands High School. (NICK CAMMETT/GAZETTE)
HENRIETTA TWP. — Black River’s Jay Chidsey almost got knocked out in the second quarter. Then he knocked out on the Firelands boys basketball team.
It came in a 61-57 Patriot Athletic Conference Stars Division win Friday.
The senior reserve took a nasty bump on the noggin before halftime, but was cleared by the Firelands trainer to go back in.
Once there, he hit a deep 3-pointer with 28 seconds left to give the Pirates (1-3, 1-3) their first win of the season and first lead since 5:22 of the second quarter.
“I didn’t think I was going to play again,” Chidsey said. “My head was just ringing at the time. When the trainer took me out right there and went through (concussion) protocol, I thought I was done.
“When I got the ball on the 3-pointer I thought, ‘I’m shooting it.’ I was just happy it went down and gave the guys our first win.”
The bucket was perfect symbolism for the grit and determination Black River displayed against Firelands (0-7, 0-5).
Down two with 35 seconds left, the Pirates got the ball after the Falcons’ Casey Kelley missed the front end of a one-and-one. Running Black River’s motion offense, Devon McLean found Chidsey (15 points) on the right elbow and the senior hit nothing but net to give Black River the lead for good at 58-57.
“That was a huge three. He was burying them all night,” Falcons coach Alan Januzzi said. “He played well. He had the hot hand. He was feeling it. It was just a huge bucket. It kind of takes the wind out of your sails if you’re a young team.”
Firelands came right back, but missed a 3-pointer in the corner. Caleb Poldruhi (21 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists) was fouled with 6.6 seconds left and split two free throws to give Black River a two-point lead.
Kelley took the ball out underneath the Pirates basket and tossed it to Jacob Schmitz (15 points, 7 rebounds), whose pass was intercepted by Poldruhi, who was fouled and made both free throws with 3.0 seconds left.
“I just tried to stay who I am every single game,” Poldruhi said. “At the end, it got pretty crazy there and I acted like it was just another game. I knew if we got a steal, pretty much the game would be over. I was looking for the ball as soon as it got out of the inbounder’s hands.”
The win was much more than the last two plays, as Black River essentially learned to excel without its big man.
While Jonathan Herb (6 points, 7 rebounds) tied Brennan Scheck (7 points) for the team lead in rebounds, the 6-foot-9 center was in foul trouble all night.
When Herb went out with 7:11 left in the second quarter, the Pirates were outscored by 17 points and Firelands took a 29-18 advantage into intermission.
Herb picked up his fourth foul 1:56 into the third quarter, but instead of recoiling, Black River closed the quarter strong and trailed just 41-38 heading into the fourth.
Herb bowed out with 1:22 left and his team down two, but Black River scored the final six points to walk out winners.
“I think they learned we needed to push the ball a little more,” Pirates coach Randy Endsley said. “We wanted to run the floor and not let them set up in their traps and kind of exploit some of the holes in their defense.”
The Firelands junior varsity won 53-37. Devin Humphreys had 16 for Black River.
Contact Brad Bournival at email@example.com.
Black River 61, Firelands 57
BLACK RIVER 12 6 20 23 — 61
FIRELANDS 9 20 12 16 — 57
Black River — Brennan Scheck 2-2-7, Caleb Simonson 2-2-6, Jonathan Herb 3-0-6, Devon McLean 2-0-5, Caleb Poldruhi 7-7-21, Jay Chidsey 5-1-15, Gavin Ford 0-1-1, Devin Humphreys 0-0-0. TOTALS: 21-13-61.
Firelands — Caleb Bomback 1-1-3, Austin Urban 2-0-6, Mitchell Hodges 3-3-9, Alex Angle 3-4-10, Casey Kelley 0-0-0, Jacob Schmitz 4-7-15, Evan Zidar 0-0-0, Jackson Talbott 5-0-14, Kyle Ransom 0-0-0. TOTALS: 18-15-57.
3-point goals — Chidsey 4, McLean, Scheck, Talbott 4, Urban 2. Rebounds — Black River 30 (Herb 7, Scheck 7), Firelands 22 (Schmitz 7). Assists — Black River 13 (Scheck 5), Firelands 13 (Kelley 6). Records — Black River (1-3, 1-3), Firelands (0-7, 0-5). Junior varsity — Firelands 53, Black River 37.