It was one of the worst minutes in the history of Perkins basketball Saturday night in its non-conference game at Sandusky.
Fortunately for the Pirates, it was the opening minute of the game as Perkins overcame a rough start to claim a 64-59 win over the Blue Streaks to move to 4-0 overall.
The Blue Streaks fell to 1-1.
Just 44 seconds into the game, the Pirates had committed five turnovers, one of which led to a fastbreak one-handed dunk by Sandusky senior Cordney Strickland to get the Blue Streak faithful fired up.
By the end of the quarter, the Pirates were down 14-5. However, a 36-19 scoring advantage in the middle two quarters allowed the Pirates to settle in.
"Obviously it was a sluggish start with all the turnovers," Perkins coach Scott McVeigh said. "But we talked about this being a game of runs and we needed to limit Sandusky's runs and I think we did that. We had to match their enthusiasm and intensity, and we didn't do that for the first few minutes, but after that I thought we played three solid quarters."
After the Pirates were able to battle back and get within 22-20 at halftime, a 9-2 run late in the third quarter allowed them to take a 41-33 lead in to the fourth quarter. Baskets by Brandon Smith, Nic Williams and Tony Haerr highlighted the run.
Eventually a Haerr basket put the Pirates up 51-41 with a little more than five minutes remaining and the lead grew to 54-43 at the 4:26 mark on a basket and free throw from Williams.
"We just really broke down defensively," Sandusky coach Steve Keller said. "I thought we got back into the game by getting stops. However, we just lost all concepts of defensive philosophy and allowed them to get to the basket and draw critical fouls.
"We just did not play like we needed to defensively in the halfcourt."
The Blue Streaks started to make a move down the stretch as Strickland hit a pair of free throws and followed that up with a deep 3-pointer from the left wing to make it 55-50. A turnover in transition led to a layup for Delon Roldan-Johnson and suddenly it was a 55-52 deficit for Sandusky with 2:26 left.
Haerr came down with a basket for the Pirates, but Strickland answered right back with another 3-pointer that made it 57-55 with 1:52 left. After each team traded baskets, Perkins got perhaps the final blow when Williams got a basket and drew the foul with 28.7 seconds left.
After sinking the free throw, the lead was up to two possessions at 62-57. Xavier Turner came back with a basket for Sandusky with 18.7 seconds left and he immediately fouled Smith on the ensuing inbound.
Smith missed the first free throw, but the second rolled around the cylinder before deciding to fall in for a 63-59 edge with 15.8 seconds left.
"We made a couple more big plays at the end," McVeigh said. "This was a great tournament atmosphere and I give Sandusky a lot of credit for fighting tooth and nail to the end.
"I thought we did a great job with team rebounding and playing well defensively and got five in double figures. After David (Doster) settled down he played better, and he and Nic don't play like freshmen. It was just a great game to be a part of."
For Perkins, Michael Ebert, who had a huge middle two quarters, finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds while Smith added 14 points and Williams scored 11 points with 11 rebounds. Doster also hit double figures with 11 points while Haerr also added 10 points.
For Sandusky, Strickland finished with 15 points despite not scoring in the second and third quarter while Jay Page added 12 for the lone two players in double figures. Xavier Turner added seven points, eight rebounds and three steals.
"We didn't play well in certain stretches tonight, but Perkins did a nice job," Keller said. "Ebert played vey well for them along with Smith and Haerr, but we just need to bet better and play longer stretches of basketball.
"We did not do very well boxing out or getting in position. A few times shooters were getting rebounds for them, so we have to do a better job. But it's Game 2, and we have to get better from here."
Brandon Smith 6-1--14, Tony Haerr 5-0--10, Michael Ebert 8-2--18, David Doster 1-9--11, Nic Williams 3-5--11. Totals 24-17--64.
Cordney Strickland 5-3--15, Dameyion Smith 1-0--2, Jay Page 5-2--12, Devonte Turner 1-0--3, Tristan Jeffries 2-1--5, Jaron Green 2-0--4, Xavier Turner 3-1--7, Delon Roldan-Johnson 1-0--2, Lucas Poggiali 2-0--4, Jalen Gordon 2-0--5. Totals 24-7--59.
Perkins 5 15 21 23 -- 64
Sandusky 14 8 11 26 -- 59
3-point field goals -- (P): Smith; (S): Strickland 2, D. Turner, Gordon
JV -- Sandusky, 58-20