CARROLL, Ohio -- A little more than two months ago, Hunter Antritt was the sixth man on a struggling 0-6 Liberty Union team. Now, he’s the guy for the Lions.
Continuing his breakout season on Wednesday, Antritt scored 22 points, including the final five for the Lions in a 60-58 win over Bloom-Carroll.
After taking a 29-26 lead into halftime, Liberty Union created separation by using a 6-0 run out of the break. After a tough floater from Antritt, the Lions found themselves ahead 35-26 with 5:35 left in the quarter.
After trading baskets for the next few minutes, Bloom-Carroll cut the lead to as little as three after a tough inside take from junior Otto Kuhns.
Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, Liberty Union responded in a big way.
Despite going scoreless for the first 23 minutes, Jarod Ison came up with two clutch triples off the bench to end the quarter for the Lions. After he hit a three to put his squad up six, he knocked down a very impressive corner three off movement at the buzzer. Putting the Lions up 46-37 heading into the final quarter, this shot ignited the Liberty Union faithful and had their boys feeling very good about themselves.
Down 50-40 with a little over five minutes left, Bloom-Carroll appeared to be dead in the water. However, Kuhns went into attack mode for the next two minutes.
Following a three-pointer from sophomore Joe Luckhaupt, Kuhns coupled two tough takes with a triple of his own to tie the game at 50-50 with 3:38 left and cap off a 10-0 run for Bloom-Carroll.
After Antritt answered with a floater of his own, Carroll freshman Chase Alwood stepped up in a big way. After he hit one of his three triples on the night, Kuhns finished through contact and was fouled but missed the free throw. Increasing their lead to 55-52 with a little more than two minutes left, the Bulldogs were on the verge of an epic comeback win.
Not so fast. Tying the game with a huge three-pointer, Liberty Union sophomore Jacob Berlekamp made his biggest shot of the night on the next possession.
After turning the Bulldogs over on the other end, Antritt took matters into his own hands. Sizing up his man on the right wing, he pulled up for three and nailed it, giving Liberty Union a 58-55 lead with 57 seconds left on the clock.
Failing to score on their next possession, Bloom-Carroll was forced to foul Antritt. After he knocked down both shots of the one-and-one, Luckhaupt hit a desperation three for Carroll to trim the deficit to two with a second left, but they simply did not have enough time left, falling to the Lions at home.
They were led by Kuhns with another solid showing of 22 points to go along with seven rebounds and two steals. Alwood contributed 11 points off the bench for Carroll and junior Trace Wisecarver scored 10 to round out their double-figure scorers.
They have a tough first round matchup against Beechcroft next Monday in the Division II tournament.
Antritt led the way for Liberty Union with his 22 points, but he was not alone. Berlekamp also scored 13 points for the Lions and senior forward Wyatt Sims contributed 12 points and seven rebounds.
They host Fredericktown on Monday in the first round of the Division III tournament.
Hunter Antritt (6’2 CG / Liberty Union / 2019): A senior who has burst onto the scene with several big scoring performances this season, Antritt continued his solid play tonight. Showing great offensive value, he scored in several ways tonight. Boasting the ability to shoot off the dribble, he knocked down two smooth pull-up three’s in the contest. He also got into the lane a multitude of times. Using his explosive first step and tight handle, Antritt carved his way inside time and time again tonight and showed off a good ability to finish around the rim and also find open teammates. He’s a good change of direction ball handler with above average end-to-end speed. Using his long strides, he is a nightmare to defend in the open floor when he gets a head of steam going. Antritt also finished smoothly with both hands in transition tonight, a very helpful trait to have at the next level.
On defense, Hunter uses his pure energy and motor to make plays. Tasked with defending Kuhns all night, he did not have an easy matchup, but more than held his own. He came up with a trio of steals and did so by using his long arms to frustrate ball handlers and also pick off passes. When you play with the energy of Antritt, it’s tough to not be a good defender. Always in his man’s face, he will make you uncomfortable and let you know about it.
Overall, Hunter has the potential to develop into a real two-way threat at the next level. Despite not receiving a great shot to show off his skills before this season, he has made the most of his opportunity at Liberty Union and led the Lions to a solid season.
Otto Kuhns (6’3 CG / Bloom-Carroll / 2020): A first team all-state quarterback on the gridiron, Kuhns did everything he could to keep his squad in it on the hardwood. Showing off his potential best in a fourth quarter run, Otto put most of his offensive traits on display in just a little more than a minute of play. Scoring a majority of his points off the dribble, he proved to be most deadly when driving straight downhill. With broad shoulders for a guard and exceptional quickness, he does a great job of using his body to create separation around the rim. Kuhns is most dangerous when out in transition, as he is as tough as anyone in the MSL-Buckeye to stop one on one in the open floor. He also knocked down a big three late to tie the game, proving that he can be a threat from the perimeter as well.
On defense, Kuhns can be used as either a point of attack defender or a wing. With quick feet and a strong build, it is as tough to get by him as it is to go through him. This makes him a great matchup for most guards on the perimeter.
All in all, we are excited to track Kuhns football career along with his basketball career as he still continues to put up solid numbers on the hardwood.