No one would have been surprised if Friday's Sandusky Bay Conference matchup between Perkins and St. Mary Central Catholic went down to the wire after the Pirates leading scorer went down early in the first quarter.
But the Pirates (16-4, 12-1) regrouped, refocused and beat the Panthers 65-47, a larger margin than they did with a full roster earlier this season.
Brandon Smith went down 2:30 into the game, holding his ankle after battling for a loose ball with the score tied at two points.
The 6-foot-5 senior left the high school on crutches early in the second quarter.
“I think we totally responded,” Perkins coach Scott McVeigh “Before I got out to them David (Doster) was getting them around telling them, 'Hey everyone else needs to step up a little bit more.' That's a sign of a good point guard, that's a sign of a three-year letter winner.
The Pirates went on a 24-11 run to close the half.
Nic Williams had a double-double for the Pirates with 29 points and 11 rebounds.
The Panthers (12-8, 6-7) attempted to shut down Williams in the second half with a trap-defense but were only able to outscore Perkins by one point in the third quarter.
A long 3-pointer by Ryan Myers shaved the margin to eight points in the fourth quarter but the Panthers couldn't cut it any closer.
Denarius Harris scored 20 points for the Panthers.
The Pirates are still atop the SBC title race, tied with Huron, which narrowly escape Clyde, 56-52 Friday.
Read more in Saturday's Sandusky Register.