Hartville comes alive in second half to beat Sparta


By Pat Dailey (For OzarkSportsZone.com)

SPARTA — For Hartville forward Payton Cogdill and his Eagles’ teammates, poise had a lot to do with their 53-45 Summit Conference triumph against Sparta on Tuesday.

Playing in front of a Sparta crowd that at times was as loud as its been for any game in recent seasons, Hartville rallied from a five-point, third quarter deficit.

“That usually comes with about every Hartville game, somebody wanting to be loud,” Cogdill said. “I’d say anybody wants to beat us. I love it. I want everybody to want to beat us. It gets me more pumped up and ready to go. You’ve got to handle it and keep your head screwed on straight.”

The Eagles shook off a subpar first half with exceptional efficiency at the offensive end in the second half. They shot 71 percent (12-of-17) in the second half, after modest 38-percent accuracy (8-of-21) in the first half.

“We were more patient and more composed,” Hartville coach Brett Reed said of his team’s second-half play. “Our team was extremely resilient tonight. Sparta kind of sped us up and took us out of some things we like to do early. In the first half, not a whole lot went our way. You’re going to have halves, quarters or moments like that throughout the course of a season.

“How we could continue to be resilient and come back in the second half and be composed says a lot about our kids,” he added. “We were able to get better looks. When we run a little offense, we generally do get better looks. We executed and made better decisions.”

“They found a way to keep grinding and grinded out a win, that’s what they do,” Sparta coach Deric Link said.

Hartville received a couple 3-pointers in the second half from Jalon Cryer, but most of the Eagles’ points were in the paint.

“They were helping and we found the open guy,” Cogdill said. “We find the open guy when we need to. We do what it takes to get each other open. We’re not a one-man show. We use the whole team and coach Reed has a good game plan going into every single game.

“In the first half, we didn’t have our heads completely set,” Cogdill added. “In the second half, we were more composed, running through our plays and getting good looks.”


Cogdill was as frustrated as anyone in Hartville’s locker room at halftime, after picking up his third foul in the final minute of the second quarter.

“It was killing me,” he said of his foul troubles. “I was setting a back screen (on his third foul) and didn’t feel like it was a foul.”

Cogdill answered with an 18-point second half to finish with a team-high 23 points.

He didn’t pick up his fourth foul until two minutes remained in the fourth quarter.

“I had to not be as physical as I wanted to be, which is hard for me because I’m a physical guy,” Cogdill said. “I like getting in people’s heads a little bit by being physical. But I overcame it.”

Cogdill guarded Sparta star Jake Lafferty for most of the first half, before Jackson Ward and Mason Cogdill defended him in the third quarter. Payton Cogdill finished the night on Lafferty.

Lafferty scored a game-high 28 points.

“It was a physical battle,” Patyon Cogdill said. “He can score inside and outside. When he wants to get to the rim, he can pretty much get to the rim anytime. You’ve just got to be physical with him.”

“Foul trouble was a major concern for us all night and that’s a credit to Sparta and Lafferty,” Reed said. “He’s so good. We had to guard him by committee. He draws a ton of attention and a ton of fouls. To have no one foul out and having different guys guarding out of position was big for us. All the guys who guarded Lafferty tonight, and I know he had 28, I felt like they did a pretty good job.”

Sparta enjoyed a 17-point second quarter and was up 26-21 in the first minute of the third quarter, but couldn’t keep pace with the Eagles. The Trojans scored just 19 points over the final 15 minutes.

“The way they play, you’ve got to know every possession is important,” Link said. “You have to get a great shot every possession. You have to be good in time-and-score situations and make sure you make the most of every opportunity.”

Hartville (19-2) has beaten Sparta (19-5) three straight seasons, but this was the teams’ first matchup as Summit opponents. It was Hartville’s conference opener.

“They’re well coached and have got a good program. To come over to Sparta and get a win, it’s a good start to our conference season,” Reed said. “We’ve got four more of these coming up in the next two weeks.”

Hartville 53, Sparta 45
Hartville 11 10 14 18 – 53
Sparta 6 17 12 10 – 45

HARTVILLE (53) — Payton Cogdill 9 4-4 23, Grant Culver 6 2-5 14, Jalon Cryer 3 4-4 12, Jackson Ward 2 0-0 4.
SPARTA (45) — Jake Lafferty 12 3-5 38, Trenton Ingle 2 0-0 6, Braylen Luttrell 2 0-0 5, Walker Loveland 1 0-0 3, Mason Letterman 0 1-2 1.

3-point goals — Cryer 2, Ingle 2, Cogdill, Luttrell, Lafferty.

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