It appears all the Clyde offense needed to get on track was a trip to "The Den."
The Fliers scored the first 10 points of the game and finished the night 27 of 56 from the field, for a 70-57 victory Saturday over St. Mary Central Catholic.
"I'm proud of our kids," Fliers coach Ryan Carter said. "We had a tough loss Thursday (52-49 at home to Margaretta), but we responded and played a good game. I thought our temp was good and that got us some more open shots.
"Then we got them to go down, which always helps."
The quick start was the undoing for the Panthers.
"I knew we were both having the same (offensive) problems going in, so it was going to come down to who was able to find it," St. Mary CC coach Lyle Falknor said. "It's a mental thing. They hit a three right away and we go down and miss."
That was a recurring theme for the Panthers in the first half as they missed nine of 13 shots deep in the paint and were just 7 of 31 from the field.
"Coach Falknor does an excellent job with his kids," Carter said. "They play extremely hard and you know they are going to push the tempo and get open shots. I think the difference was in the first half, they didn't get many shots to go in and the second they did and closed the deficit."
The Panthers (1-4, 0-3) fell behind by a 53-33 count on a Derek Gray bucket to open the fourth quarter, but had it down to 56-47 with 3:45 remaining. Jose Leal responded with a basket and a free throw, igniting a short 10-5 spurt that helped the Fliers quell the threat.
"He was kind of everywhere for us tonight," Carter said of Leal. "Jose has given that to us all year. He's been our leader in every single game. He's rebounded the ball, he's changed shots, he's blocked shots and he's scored."
Leal finished with 11 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks against St. Mary CC, with Gray, a freshman, coming off the bench to toss in 12 points.
"He's been doing that all year, he just hadn't scored like that," Carter said of Gray. "He's playing significant minutes for us and doing good things. Tonight, he just got some more looks and got some of them to go in."
Zach Warner pumped in 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds for the Fliers (3-2, 2-1) in scoring with Joey Cooper, Ryan Meyer, Alex Jess and Mac Wilkerson each adding seven points.
"They were within nine and that was from them making shots," Carter said. "In the first half, they got those looks but they just didn't get them to go in the hole. You've got to give their kids a lot of credit. They took that punch and continued to fight."
Ethan Sennish came off the bench to score a game-high 20 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter to spark the SMCC rally. Pat Sennish finished with 11 points and Alex Opfer and Joe Youskiewicz each added eight points, with Youskiewicz grabbing a team-high 10 boards and Opfer adding seven.
"I can't fault our effort in the last quarter, I just want to see it for the whole game," Falknor said. "I want to see us flying around out there in position, doing things right. Early in the game, we play like we don't want to lose, and you can't play a basketball game that way.
"You got to play it to win it."
Clyde opened with a 52-48 victory in the jayvee game with Paul Cullen scoring 13 and Isaac Bouyack adding 12. Ryan Myers had a game-high 18 and Brett St. Clair tossed in 12 for the Panthers.
CLYDE (3-2, 2-1 SBC)
Jose Leal 5-1--11; Joey Cooper 2-3--7; Zach Warner 5-4--16; Ryan Meyer 3-1--7; Alex Jess 3-1--7; Derek Gray 5-0--12; Tyson Hermes 1-0--3; Mac Wilkerson 3-1--7; Totals 27-11--70
ST. MARY CC (1-4, 0-3 SBC)
Alex Opfer 3-2--8; Andrew Carruthers 1-0--2; Pat Sennish 4-0--11; Demarius Harris 2-1--6; Joe Youskiewicz 3-2--8; Ethan Sennish 5-7--20; Jacob Williams 1-0--2; Totals 19-12--57
Clyde 18 16 17 19 -- 70
St. Mary CC 8 10 15 24 -- 57
3-pt FG -- Clyde 5 (Zach Warner 2, Derek Gray 2, Tyson Hermes); St. Mary 7 (Pat Sennish 3, Demarius Harris, Ethan Sennish 3)
JV: Clyde 52-48