The Perkins boys basketball team got the quick start it needed to put a disastrous Friday night behind it, as a quick 12-0 run against visiting St. Paul Saturday night proved to be the difference in a 59-46 win.
The Pirates (16-3) suffered a 48-46 loss at Margaretta on Friday that eliminated them from the Sandusky Bay Conference race.
With the loss, St. Paul fell to 4-15.
It took less than three minutes into the game for Perkins to lead 12-0 as back-to-back 3-pointers from Zak Dees highlighted the run. Dees scored eight of the points while Brandon Smith had the other two baskets.
The Flyers managed to claw within 12-8 at the 2:19 mark of the opening quarter, but the Pirates again got hot in transition with an 8-2 run to take a 20-10 lead at the end of the quarter.
"Getting off to a good start was very important," Perkins coach Scott McVeigh said. "We had to get back to the basics and doing the little things."
That's all Friday was, doing the little things."
"We didn't do it and it proved you can get beat any night by any team. We had to make sure we were focused and got after it, and I thought we did for the most part.
"We always know St. Paul is well-coached, disciplined and will know everything we run. It's a game that preps us for the tournament. We know what we'll get everytime we play them, and that's why we do. They always execute well."
Back-to-back baskets by Joe Hinckley and Alex Rospert pulled St. Paul within 26-19 with 4:36 left in the half, but Dees and Smith again had the answer. Dees scored inside and Smith got two baskts off steals and it was back up to 32-19 with 2:02 left in the half.
Perkins led 36-20 at the break.
"I told our kids coming in we had to try and control the inside as best we could," St. Paul coach Mike Smith said. "Dees and Smith got them going right at the get-go, but I thought if we could hang in there maybe we could make a run, which we did get it to seven there (26-19), but they always had an answer for us."
A 12-6 scoring run to open the third quarter allowed the Pirates to take a 48-26 lead with less than a minute to go.
The Pirates got sloppy in the fourth, however. After Dees and Smith left the game, the Flyers immediately got points in transition off easy steals and with 4:14 remaining, had pulled within 57-44 after a Hinckley steal and score.
St. Paul had a couple more chances to draw closer, but were unable to convert. Perkins iced the game with baskets from seniors Caleb Balduff and Evan Goretzky in the closing minutes.
Brandon Smith scored 23 points on 9 of 16 shooting while Dees had 20 points and seven rebounds to pace the Pirates.
For St. Paul, Adam Smith scored 12 points while Erik Stanbery added eight. Tom Bartow grabbed six rebounds.
"I thought we were physical and didn't pack it in," Mike Smith said of his team. "I think it was a productive weekend. We'll go down to Crestview (Friday) and look to get better, then the fun starts Saturday with preparation for the tournament.
"It's always a great time of year. The kids are excited about our opportunity."
St. Paul will play on March 2 at the Division IV Port Clinton sectional against Old Fort (6-11). The Pirates travel to Oak Harbor (3-16) in the regular season finale on Friday and will play the Norwalk-Bellevue winner at the Division II Sandusky sectional on March 4.
"We tend to get sloppy when we play up there at Oak Harbor, and really in general," McVeigh said. "We need to play well."
ST. PAUL (4-15)
Will Crosby 1-0--3, Connor Smith 0-2--2, Kurt Walliser 2-0--4, Tom Bartow 1-0-2, Adam Smith 5-1--12, Zak Miller 1-0--2, Seth Kramer 2-0--4, Erik Stanbery 2-4--8, Alex Rospert 1-0-2, Joe Hinckley 3-0--7. TOTALS 18-7--46.
Brandon Smith 10-1--23, Michael Ebert 2-0--4, Zak Dees 7-3--20, Nic Williams 2-0--4, David Doster 1-0--2, Caleb Balduff 1-0--2, Michael Lococo 1-0--2, Evan Goretzky 1-0--2. TOTALS 25-4--59.
St. Paul 10 10 9 17 -- 46
Perkins 20 16 12 11 -- 59
3-point FGs -- (SP): Crosby, A. Smith, Hinckley; (P): Dees 3, Smith 2
JV -- St. Paul, 39-33