By Rob Potter
JEFFERSONVILLE February 19, 2002 It is difficult not to notice Sullivan West basketball player Mike Ahnstrom when he is standing still.
In Friday nights OCIAA Division IV boys basketball game between visiting Tri-Valley and Sullivan West, the six-foot-eight Ahnstrom was often the center of attention.
The senior center scored 18 of his game-high 34 points in the fourth quarter as the Bulldogs held off a late T-V rally for a 65-57 victory.
Ahnstrom also grabbed a good share of his 21 total rebounds in the final period. When he wasnt putting his own shot from close range or tipping in a teammates miss, Ahnstrom was scoring at the foul line.
In fact, the only SW player other than Ahnstrom to score in the fourth quarter was guard Justin Pinkel. The senior guard knocked down a pair of free throws with 12 seconds left in the game to provide the final margin of victory.
For a while, though, Ahnstrom seemed to be matched almost point for point by T-V guard Kyle Humphrey. He scored 28 points in the game, 15 of which came from five successful shots beyond the three-point arc.
A Humphrey three-pointer closed the gap to 47-43 with 5:59 left in the game and forced Sullivan West (12-5, 4-4 OCIAA) to take a timeout. Twenty seconds later, teammate Danny Weisberg scored to bring T-V (7-12, 1-8 OCIAA) to within two points.
But that was a close as the Bears would get as the Bulldogs outscored T-V by an 18-12 margin over the reamaining five-plus minutes.
The key is that we needed a win after a rough week and we got it, said SW Co-Coach Rick Ellison, referring to the Bulldogs heart-breaking double-overtime loss to Chester two nights before. Were happy that we regrouped and got a division win.
We rebounded okay on the defensive end tonight, added SW Co-Coach Bob Menges. Offensively, we got the rebounds when we had to towards the end of the game and that was key.
Pinkel finished with 10 points for the Bulldogs, while Alex Van Loon added six.
Eli Felder had 10 points for the Bears.
While noting that Humphrey had a great game, T-V Coach Jason Semo also pointed out the contributions of several other players.
Defensively, Eli Felder and Martin Henry-Lester played great tonight, Semo said. And our point guards, Zac Bright and Danny Weisberg did a great job handling the ball.
Despite the loss, Semo was encouraged by the way his team played especially after the Bulldogs raced out to a 20-6 lead in the first quarter.
The players really worked as a team, he said. Im proud of them. They showed a lot of heart tonight and didnt give up.