For a team that was on the verge of a blowout victory and had controlled most of the game, the Roff Tigers had to be happy to get out of Stratford’s raucous gymnasium with a win after what transpired over the final six minutes.

The Tigers saw Stratford whittle an 18-point lead to three with just seven seconds left before Roff settled for a wild 57-50 victory Friday night.

Roff, ranked No. 8 in Class B, won its seventh straight game to improve to 9-2 on the year while Stratford suffered its first defeat, falling to 5-1.

In the girls contest, Roff took advantage of a cold-shooting Stratford offense and swatted the Lady Bulldogs 39-27.


Roff 57, Stratford 50

After Roff’s Dylan Lemley scored on a power move to the basket with just under six minutes left in the contest to push his team’s lead to 18 at 47-29, the Tigers seemed to be in complete control.

But sophomore standout Dalen Qualls, who had been stymied by a stout Roff defense for three-plus quarters, scored 14 of his game-high 23 points during a 21-6 Stratford surge that saw the Bulldogs get within three at 53-50.

After Qualls hit an uncontested layup with seven seconds left that made it a three-point game, the Tigers had trouble getting the ball in bounds. In fact, Roff head coach Kale Simon had to cross midcourt to get a time out called — his only remaining one — to prevent a five-second call.

Lemley and Brendan McCurry both hit two free throws apiece in the closing second to account for the final score.

“Our kids are hard-nosed and they’re never going to quit. Once they hit a shot or two, it gave them some life,” Stratford head coach Mark Qualls said of his team’s gallant comeback bid. “A 20-point lead in today’s game is nothing. We picked up the intensity ... and started attacking the basket a little more.”

Qualls had made three free throws after being fouled behind the arc with 29.5 seconds left and the Tigers missed three straight from the stripe over the next 15 second to give the hosts new life. The Bulldogs finally took advantage when Qualls drove in for the score but they would get no closer.

Roff had to survive adversity late in the game.

• First, Aaron Cornell — who had the hot hand early for Roff and finished with a team-high 15 points on 3-of-5 shooting from 3-point territory — appeared to injure his sternum after taking a charge with under a minute to go in the third quarter. He spent much of the fourth quarter with an ice pack on his chest before returning to the lineup in the closing minutes.

• Then, Roff guard Dayne Parker, who managed just four points, fouled out with 3:10 left in the game.

• Reserve guard T.J. Carter then injured his ankle with just under two minutes left and did not return.

• Finally, talented post player Josh Jones appeared to dislocate his shoulder after committing a foul with 1:13 left. He, along with head coach Kale Simon, had the shoulder checked out at a local hospital immediately following the game but the extent of his injury was not available at press time.

Roff also didn’t get much playing time from Blake Logan, who was whistled for his third foul at the 3:55 mark of the first quarter.

Stratford seemed to focus on trying to slow down Jones and Lemley in the paint and Cornell and company made them pay. Cornell hit two of his three triples in the first quarter as the Tigers got off to a blistering 7-of-12 start from the field. Stratford, meanwhile, hit just four of their first 17 field goals and trailed 19-10 after the first quarter.

“When they make shots, they can beat anybody. What do you do? You have to give them something. They just made shots and we didn’t and that’s why we got down in such a hole,” Mark Qualls said.

Qualls knifed down the lane and hit a floater to open the second period, but Cornell lofted a perfect pass to Lemley for a thunderous alley-oop and Jones followed with a free throw to give the Tigers their first double-digit lead of the game at 22-12.

Stratford got within six twice in the late stages of the second period, but Roff scored the final seven point — on a 3-pointer by Cornell, a fast break bucket by Carter and an inside basket by McCurry to take a 34-21 lead at the break.

Lemley was a force in the post, scoring 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting to go with 10 rebounds. McCurry added 13 points off the bench for the Tigers.

Qualls didn’t get the point production help he had been lately from his supporting cast. Matthew Knight was the only other SHS player to hit double figures with 11 points while Dakota Russell added nine.

The Tiger defense hounded Qualls into an 8-of-29 shooting effort.

“They doubled every time and tried to force the ball out of his hands. He knows and we know he has to make shots for us to win. Lately he’s been missing some shots that normally he’s going to knock down and that’s something you just have to fight through,” his coach and father said.

The Tigers hope to heal what ails them quickly with No. 1 Red Oak coming to town Thursday. (Note: the girls game will begin at 6 p.m. with the boys to follow at approximately 7:15 p.m.)

Meanwhile, Stratford had a tough road trip to New Lima (8-5) on Thursday.


Roff 39, Stratford 27

Roff took advantage of ice-cold Stratford shooting and broke open a tight game with a 14-6 third-quarter edge.

Stratford trailed just 13-11 at halftime and Alana Reaves hit a free throw to open the third and get the hosts within one. But the Lady Tigers scored nine straight points to grab their first double-digit advantage of the night at 22-12 and Stratford never got closer than nine the rest of the way.

How cold was Stratford? The Lady Bulldogs hit just two of 14 field goals in the pivotal third quarter and were 6-of-40 from the field heading into the final eight minutes. Stratford ended up 10-of-51 (19.6 percent) for the game while sinking just 3-of-8 free throws.

Roff freshmen post players Jordan Grinstead and NaTosha Logsdon continue to play well for the Lady Tigers. Grinstead finished with 12 points, six rebounds and four blocked shots while Logsdon scored seven points and pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds. Jodie Byers hit a trio of 3-pointers for her nine points and also had four steals.

Ashton Helm scored eight points to lead Stratford while Lindsay Heckman added seven points and 11 rebounds. Taylor Neal added 10 boards for coach Tony Prichard’s bunch.

By the Numbers:

Tuesday’s Games


At Stratford

Roff 39, Stratford 27

ROFF 9 4 14 12 — 39

STRATFORD 7 4 6 10 — 27

ROFF: Jordan Grinstead 5-9, 2-5, 12; Jodie Byers 3-9, 0-1, 9; NaTosha Logsdon 3-10, 1-6, 7; Spencer Phillips 2-7, 2-2, 6; Catie Tolliver 1-4, 0-0, 2; J.J. Stewart 1-1, 0-0, 2; Tyla Truett 0-3, 1-4, 1. Totals: 15-47, 6-18, 39.

STRATFORD: Ashton Helm 3-15, 1-3, 8; Lindsay Heckman 3-4, 1-2, 7; Alana Reaves 1-9, 1-2, 4; Emily Readnour 1-11, 0-1, 3; Kortney Teachey 1-4, 0-0, 3; Taylor Neal 1-6, 0-0, 2. Totals: 10-51, 3-8, 27.

Turnovers: Roff 13, Stratford 13.

Steals: Roff 6 (Byers 4); Stratford 10 (Readnour 5).

Rebounds: Roff 48 (Logsdon 13); Stratford 42 (Heckman 11, Neal 10).

3-point goals: Roff 3-6 (Byers 3-5); Stratford 4-21 (Readnour 1-5, Helm 1-6, Reaves 1-6, Teachey 1-4).

Fouled out: None.


At Stratford

Roff 57, Stratford 50

ROFF 19 15 11 12 — 57

STRATFORD 10 11 8 21 — 50

ROFF: Aaron Cornell 5-7, 2-5, 15; Dylan Lemley 6-8, 2-4, 14; Brendan McCurry 4-11, 4-6, 13; T.J. Carter 2-3, 0-0, 5; Josh Jones 1-5, 2-4, 4; Dayne Parker 1-5, 1-2, 4; Caleb Burrows 1-1, 0-0, 2. Totals: 20-41, 11-20, 57.

STRATFORD: Dalen Qualls 7-29, 5-7, 23; Matthew Knight 4-8, 3-3, 11; Dakota Russell 3-8, 3-3, 9; Nathan Stoliby 1-2, 2-2, 4; Michael Jolley 1-3, 1-1, 3. Totals: 17-53, 14-16, 50.

Turnovers: Roff 15, Stratford 8.

Steals: Roff 4, Stratford 5.

Rebounds: Roff 39 (Lemley 10); Statford 30 (Qualls 5, Russell 5).

3-point goals: Roff 6-18 (Cornell 3-5, Parker 1-3, Carter 1-2, McCurry 1-7); Stratford 2-20 (Qualls 2-13).

Fouled out: Parker (R).