A 22-point comeback is never easy, but Woodlan found a way to do it.After trailing 40-18 in the second quarter the Warriors took home afirst round ACAC Tournament victory over Leo 83-76 to move onto thesemifinals against Bluffton at 6 p.m. Thursday at Memorial Coliseum. Here are five keys to the victory:
The Warriors had seven turnovers in the first quarter as Leo built its lead. All of that switched during the comeback. Woodlan stopped turning it over as much and started forcing the Lions to do so. This led to 30 points off turnovers in the game for Woodlan, a huge advantage and needed to make the comeback.
2. Kadin Gerig leading a whole team effort.
With Woodlan's big man Jaylin Bennett in foul trouble early, the Warriors had to rely on the rest of the team to make the comeback. When Bennett went to the bench in the second quarter with his third foul is when the team started making its push. Gerig led the charge but Jeffrey Jones, Greg White,Caleb Stieglitz and Loren Hahn all gave great minutes and key contributions for the Warriors.
3. Bennett's second half.
That said, when Bennett got back into the game in the second half he took over. He scored 21 of his 27 points in the second half as he routinely got offensive rebounds and punished the Lions inside to take control of the game and push the Warriors into the lead.
4. Weathering Leo's shooting.
The Lions came out on fire to start the game. It shot 48.1 percent from the field including 50 percent from three in the first half as Dylan Barrow and David Hardin were on fire. Barrow finished the game a perfect 9-for-9 (including hitting all six of his free throws), but Woodlan got through it. The Lions cooled off enough in the second half to 38.7 percent to allow Woodlan to make the comeback and take the lead.
5. Always believing.
It was evident on the bench that Woodlan never thought this game was over. Despite one of its best players being in foul trouble and trailing by 22, the energy was high. Sure enough, as the comeback started that energy translated to the rest of the gym and onto the floor. With the game getting increasingly closer the home crowd began to erupt just as the Warriors scoring did as well.