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Huron claws back for win over St. Mary

Dan Angelo • May 12, 2015 at 5:32 PM

Huron learned a valuable lesson in what it takes to win in the Sandusky Bay Conference Friday night in The Den.

After falling behind by a 23-14 count in the first eight minutes, the Tigers picked up the intensity and grabbed control during the next two quarters in a 73-65 victory over St. Mary Central Catholic.

"We just started playing hard," Huron coach Bobby James said. "We came in and just thought we would win, but you just can't do that in this league.

"So we just came out and played hard in the second and third quarters. We had a couple of lapses in the fourth quarter, but any time you can come away with a win in The Den, I'll take it."

The setback also put a damper on the SMCC Athletic and Achievement Hall of Fame festivities. The Class of 2011, which includes F. Leo Groff (deceased), Dennis Guerra, Joe Lamb, Rose Nath, Mike Opfer and Scott Ruthsatz, was introduced at halftime of the contest, with the induction ceremony set for Sunday afternoon at the Sandusky Yacht Club.

"I thought Huron got a lot more physical in the second and third quarters," Panthers coach Lyle Falknor said. "But I also thought we just did too much standing around watching. We hit some shots early and then we started watching."

Along with standing around, St. Mary CC hit just 7 of 25 from behind the arc, while finishing the game hitting 21 of 54 from the field.

"We fell in love with the 3, and then started watching which is a bad combination," Falknor said. "We took the ball to the basket pretty well early, we just stopped doing that."

The Panthers CC (2-8, 1-8) converted 3 of 6 treys in the opening quarter, including two from Pat Sennish during the 17-2 spurt in the final four minutes of the period that helped the host grab its nine-point lead.

The Tigers responded to open the second quarter with a 13-0 spurt. In addition, the Huron was 9 of 16 from the floor with 13 rebounds while limiting SMCC to 2 of 8 shooting and just two boards.

It was more of the same in the third quarter as Huron pushed its lead to 50-38 heading into the final period.

"I really just felt like we stopped moving and started watching the game instead of playing it in the second and third quarters," Falknor said. "In the fourth quarter, we played a little harder."

The Panthers also started to make a game of it, trimming the deficit to nine with 1:36 remaining. But the Tigers didn't help themselves, either, converting just 16 of 24 free throws over the final four minutes of the game.

"We played hard but we have to make some free throws," James said. "If we make some of those free throws, the game is different. But we're sitting at 7-4 overall and 5-3 in the conference after being picked to finish seventh, so we'll take it."

Brian Bollenbacher, who accounted for all the Huron points in the first quarter, finished with a game-high 27 points, while Kyle Pisano scored 15 and Aaron Casey added 11. The three also led the Tigers on the boards with seven rebounds apiece.

"The kids did a nice job when they had to," James said. "They'll learn from this and we'll take it. They are beginning to get a taste for victory and they like it."

Ethan Sennish led the Panthers with 21 points, with Alex Opfer tossing in 14 and Pat Sennish ending with 12. Pat Sennish also had a team-high seven rebounds with Joe Youskievicz grabbing six.

"Our guys are working hard and I think we are getting better, but unfortunately everyone else is getting better too," Falknor said. "One thing I was pleased with is we did score. We were about 60 for maybe the second time this season. We've got to put more points on the board so we made an effort to press a little more, to try and push the defense a little more and that hurt us at times when they got behind us for some lay-ups.

"It's kind of a catch-22. When you come out and go after them hard, you leave something else open and they took advantage of that pretty well."

Huron claimed a 60-38 victory in the JV game as Collin McCready scored 15, Zach Souter had 32 and Jake Justus finished with 11. Zach Diebold led the Panthers with 11 points.

Huron (7-4, 6-3)

Kyle Pisano 6-3--15; Trae Graham 1-2--4; Aaron Driftmeyer 1-1--3; Brian Bollenbacher 8-8--27; Aaron Casey 3-5--11; Cody Thompson 1-0--3; Nick Butler 3-2--8; Drew Enderle 0-2--2. Totals 23-23--73

St. Mary CC (2-8, 1-8)

Alex Opfer 4-4--14; Ethan Sennish 8-3--21; Pat Sennish 3-3--12; Joe Youskievicz 3-2--8; Andrew Carruthers 0-2--2; Kyle Glovinsky 2-0--5; Jack Milke 1-2--4. Totals 21-16--65

Huron 14 19 17 23 -- 73

St. Mary CC 23 6 9 27 -- 65

3-pt FG: (H) Brian Bollenbacher 3, Cody Thompson 1; (SM) Alex Opfer 1, Ethan Sennish 2, Pat Sennish 3, Kyle Glovinsky 1

JV: Huron 60-38

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