St. Paul received the kind of contributions off the bench which wins close basketball games.
That was the case Friday night at the convocation center against Western Reserve, as the Flyers claimed a 51-47 win.
(NOTE: To see pictures of the game, click HERE.)
Although senior veteran Scottie Slauterbeck had the big number with 21 points, contributions from Jacob Ruffing, Sam Carper and Logan Moffit allowed coach Mike Smith’s team to counter the efforts of Western’s leading scorers Dakota Hankins and Nate Good, those two combining for 29 points.
The win moves the Flyers to 3-4 in the league and 3-5 overall. They play again tonight against Tiffin Calvert at the convocation center.
Western is now 4-2 in the FC and 5-6 overall and hosts Perkins tonight.
“For us to be successful, we have to get those kind of contributions,” Smith said. “This was a big win for us as it proved we can get a lead and keep it. Granted, it would have been easier had we hit more foul shots down the stretch but it is what it is. We played hard and made enough of them to win.
“We knew we had to stay in the face of Nate Good,” he added. “I thought Kyle Ropsert did a fine job on him. Good is going to get his points but every shot he threw up was contested. The Hankins boy had a nice game, but Travis Smiley was not full strength and that could have had a lot to do with it. We are getting better game by game. Hopefully this will be a spring-board to a successful home stand.”
The Flyers have a third home game in seven days when they host Willard on Wednesday night.
Slauterbeck and his volleys from above the arc staked the Flyers to the early 7-0 lead.
He scored nine points on three shots for all of St. Paul’s first-quarter points.
They led 9-7 at that juncture.
Ruffing opened the second period with a pull-up 10-footer and Moffit came off the bench to score twice, shots that ignited a St. Paul run and gave them 10-point leads on two occasions, the last time at 20-10.
Western rallied late in the period, however, as Good and Jacob Sapienza scored from above the arc while Hankins converted three of four foul shots. That mini-run cut St. Paul’s lead to 24-20 at the intermission.
Carper made his presence felt in the third quarter. He scored twice to help offset the long range goals Good and Sapienza were lobbing in, points that actually got Chris Sheldon’s club its one and only lead at 27-26.
Harwood had much to do with St. Paul’s righting the ship late in the quarter.
His efforts on both ends that got his team as much as a 37-33 lead and then again in the final quarter when St. Paul extended the margin to 47-40 with 47 seconds left.
But, missed foul shots by St. Paul and four counter buckets by Hankins pulled Western to within 48-44 with 19 seconds remaining.
The biggest play of the game for the Flyers, however, wasn’t a shot made, but a rebound by Slauterbeck with 17 seconds left after he missed back-to-back foul shots.
He was fouled again and this time went back to the line and connected on both freebies, shots that helped offset the three-ball launched by Good with 10 seconds left that made it 50-47. Slauterbeck returned to the stripe with nine ticks left and converted his second of two shots to make it a two-possession game.
“We have to do just about everything right if we are to be successful,” Sheldon said. “We are not going to over-power any opponent. That said, I can remember five times late in the game when we had chances to make plays that would have added even more pressure on St. Paul. We converted just a couple of them, and we are right there.
“This was our first conference game on the road and I thought we looked tentative,” he added. “We just didn’t fire like we should have. Dakota Hankins had a nice game for us and he has to get it done inside if we are to have half a chance.”
Harwood seconded Slauterbeck’s 21 points with 13 while Carper was third in line with seven.
The Flyers were 19-of-42 from the field, including 6-of 10 from above the arc. They made 7-of-14 free throws.
Harwood had six of St. Paul’s 18 rebounds.
Hankins had 15 points, Good 14 and Sapienza nine for Western.
The Roughriders were 17-of-42 from the field, including 7-of-16 from three-point range and 6-of-10 foul shots.
Hankins had 10 of Western’s 23 rebounds.
It was a 14-14 standoff in turnovers.
In the absence of Steve Minor, Mel Brown took the St. Paul reserve team Friday night and won with them 39-27. Dylan Furlong had 11 points for the 6-2 (5-1) Flyers.
James Ashe and Cody Palmer had seven and Tyler Bartlett six for Stoney Jarrett’s club (5-5, 4-2).