After a sloppy first half, Perkins scored 32 points in the third quarter and cruised to an 80-54 win at Margaretta Friday night in Sandusky Bay Conference action.
The Pirates (5-2, 4-0) trailed the Polar Bears 24-11 after the first quarter, but Nic Williams scored 15 points in the second quarter and finished with a double-double of 29 points and 14 rebounds to lift Perkins.
“We are always worried about games that are over break, worried about where our focus is going to be,” Perkins coach Scott McVeigh said. “We had to regroup and refocus, but I am proud of these kids. They came out and for three quarters, we did a nice job and did what we wanted to do.”
For the first eight minutes though, it was all Margaretta.
The Polar Bears jumped out to a 10-5 lead after Tristan Scott scored six points in 1:13. Dylan Bailey and Toby Miller also added six point each in the first quarter.
Margaretta's full court press, troubled the Pirates and created a number of scoring opportunities for the Bears.
“It was just us being in the wrong spots, our spacing was bad,” McVeigh said. “We weren't coming back and helping. Once we did get by it, (Margaretta) did a good job of making us play a little bit too quick. It was just us being careless with the ball early.”
The Pirates managed to penetrate the Margaretta defense early, but went just 1-of-9 from the charity stripe in the first quarter.
“Margaretta was the more aggressive team, they out-executed us,” McVeigh said. “They outplayed us for eight minutes. When we finally woke up and played the way we are capable of playing, we pretty much dominated.”
That meant Williams taking charge.
He scored the first seven points of the second quarter which included an and-one play with 6:40 left in the first half.
“He should take over from the start,” McVeigh said. “We've talked about that and him being more aggressive. Sometimes he defers too much. We just want to come out and play aggressive.”
Williams scored 15 of his teams 21 second quarter points.
Back-to-back jumpers by Nader Hamad pulled the Pirates within one point with 2:19 in the half, but Margaretta's Austin Spicer made a free throw to keep it at two points. Williams' back-to-back layups gave Perkins a lead, but Scott drained a jumper at the buzzer to send the teams into halftime tied at 32.
The Pirates finally showed up in the third quarter.
Matt Schweinfurth connected on a 3-pointer to open the second half and Dale Irby followed it up with a quick steal and jump shot to expand the lead to five points.
Margaretta called a timeout, and scored out of it, but Perkins went on a 7-2 run. The Bears called another timeout, but Perkins finished the quarter on a 12-6 run.
“We had a really good first and second quarter, but in the third, we just got hurt,” Margaretta coach Steve Keller said. “They made four three's and we gave up too many offensive rebounds and putbacks. You can't give up 32 points in a quarter and be successful. I felt that our guys played hard, but we just got to be smarter about how we play. We especially have to guard in the half court.”
McVeigh said he didn't give an elaborate halftime speech, but he did ask his kids to play to their potential.
“We responded. We were more aggressive and we made the extra pass,” McVeigh said. “Out of the gates, Matt Schweinfurth hits a three because we make an extra pass and he's ready to shoot the basketball. The next possession we got a steal and a layup just because we were playing aggressive.”
By the fourth quarter, the Pirates had a 20-point lead.
“We'll keep after it,” Keller said. “We proved that for two quarters we can play very well, now we just have to put four quarters together.”
Bailey finished with 16 points for Margaretta, while Scott added 14.
Chase Green and Kyle Lewis had 12 points apiece for Perkins.
The Pirates and Polar Bears meet for a second time on Feb. 7.
“We're going to have to watch film, but they hurt us with their size and that is something we have struggled with all year,” Keller said. “Our guys fight, they compete. We'll be alright, we just have to bounce back and get after it (tonight).”
Margaretta is at Danbury tonight in a non-conference game.