Defiance vs Findlay Basketball Game January 10, 2015

Last Saturday, my son, grandson, and I attended the basketball game between Defiance High School and Findlay High School. Defiance is ranked fourth in Ohio High School Basketball Division II and Findlay is a Division I school, so I thought this would be a great game to attend. As always, I took my camera with me. Here are a few of the pictures I took:

kirk's krazies defiance high school

The Defiance High School Student Section is called Kirk’s Krazies.

kirk's krazies defiance high school 2

Kirk’s Krazies, Defiance High School

The coach of the Findlay High School Trojans complained about the officiating right from the start of the game. His complaining infected his team and Findlay fans, and the game was one nonstop bitchfest about the officiating.

jim rucki findlay high school basketball coach

Jim Rucki, Findlay High School Basketball Coach

What made things worse was one of the officials developed rabbit ears. Rabbit ears is a sports term for someone who listens to criticism and lets it affect their game, or in the case of this official, their ability to officiate the game.

mr rabbit ears

Mr Rabbit Ears

Instead of ignoring the Findlay coach, this official began responding, often with thrown up hands and the words, I didn’t see it.  This is the worst thing an official can do. Like a shark smelling blood in the water, a seasoned coach like Rucki will continue to badger an official, knowing the official is paying attention.

The game was a tightly contested:

defiance vs findlay basketball game january 10, 2015

#20 Kameron Singleton and #32 Chaze Proehl

defiance vs findlay basketball game january 10, 2015 2

#10, Grant Niswander

defiance vs findlay basketball game january 10, 2015 3

#4, Michael Menendez, #10, Wes Detter, #Unknown

The deciding factor came down to trust, which coach trusted his point guards to run the offense and win the game. At the end of regulation, the game was tied and it took two overtimes before Defiance prevailed 63-58.

During the overtimes, the points guards for Defiance ran the floor like seasoned veterans:

defiance vs findlay basketball game january 10, 2015 4

#4, Michael Menendez

When the game really mattered, it was the Findlay coach’s lack of trust in his point guard that cost his team the game. When he brought the ball up the court he would look to the bench for the play. Perhaps he was a young, inexperienced player and Coach Rucki didn’t trust him to run the offense.  One thing was quite evident, Kirk Lehman, the Defiance coach, trusted his points guards, when the game was on the line, to execute the offense. This is the one thing that made the difference and Defiance came away with the victory.


Lest anyone accuse me of being a homer, I attended Findlay schools from 8th through 11th grade. I have a great fondness for Findlay High School sports. This post reflects my take on the game as a sports fan. That said, I like the way Defiance plays the game, so I plan to watch more of their games in the coming weeks.


  1. Steve

    Dude, are there any African people in your area? Lmfao!!

    1. Angiep

      My thoughts exactly…these schools seem to be all white…I guess a reflection of the demography in this part of Ohio…
      I think it’s a bit sad. It’s is important for kids to be exposed to diversity.

      1. Angiep

        Clarification: obviously not “all” white…I was painting with a broad brush.

      2. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

        It is. When I intended Findlay schools in the 1970’s, there were two black kids in the school and they were brother and sister. This in a city of 40,000 with one of the larger high schools in the state of Ohio.

        I was 7 years old before I saw a black person, a porter on a Chicago train. Defiance COunty, the county I live in, is 1.75% black. Nearby Williams County is .72% black. Hancock County, where Findlay is the county seat, is 1.11% black. As you can see, it is quite white around here.:) And here’s the thing, there are more blacks living in these counties than ever. I noticed this on both the Defiance and Findlay basketball teams. There were several black players, though I think some of them were mixed-race.

        It should come as no surprise then that this area is quite racist. When you grow up in an area where the darkest person you know is someone back from a vacation in Cancun, it is easy to develop wrong ideas and attitudes about people with a different skin color. (this area does have a significant Latino population)

        1. Todd Miller

          The Findlay coach, Jim Rucki, runs a lot of “called” sets based on the situation and the defense. If you have spent any time at all watching Findlay basketball you would know that it isn’t a matter of trust or lack of trust. He calls every play.
          As far as racist propensity goes, speak for yourself rather than an area you used to be from.

          1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

            I stand by my assessment of both the game and the area. I still live in Northwest Ohio, While things have certainly become more inclusive, only the deliberately blind would suggest that racism in this area is no longer a problem. I could have shared many anecdotal stories from my years at FHS. I chose not to because I want to think that the racists of my youth have grown up and matured.

            Thank you for the comment.

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