By halftime of Wednesday's non-conference game vs. Bay, Perkins guard Nic Williams was well on his way to another night of 20-plus points and double-digit rebounds.
But Williams didn't score again — and it didn't matter.
Despite Bay's ability to keep the two-time Sandusky Bay Conference Outstanding Performer and two-time All-Ohioan off the board, the Pirates outscored the visitors by 14 in the second half of a 68-47 win.
Perkins improved to 15-3 overall, while Bay fell to 8-11.
Williams had 13 points at halftime for the Pirates, and that is where he finished, along with 10 rebounds.
“That's huge. When you look at what Nic did in the second half, he distributed the ball well,” Perkins coach Scott McVeigh said. “They were face guarding him in the third quarter, and he had three or four easy looks to our post players to get some easy buckets.
“Obviously we want him scoring, but if we can do that with him distributing and getting everyone involved, we're that much better,” he added. “The better we spread the wealth, the better we're going to be.”
Leading 33-28 early in the third quarter, Kyle Lewis and Dale Irby combined for a 10-0 run to put the Pirates up 43-28 with 3:26 left in the quarter. Each player had five points, with Irby connecting on a 3-pointer and Lewis converting three points the old-fashioned way.
Bay managed to keep within striking distance, however, and entered the fourth quarter down 10 (47-37) and were only outscored 14-11 in the third despite the 10-0 run.
But any thoughts of a comeback by the Rockets were quickly put to bed by Pirate junior Aleck Speer. Just 13 seconds into the final quarter, Speer scored his first points of the game on a 3-pointer from the right corner.
After Bay split a pair of free throws, Speer came right back with another 3-pointer to make it 53-38 with 7:21 left. After Irby and Chase Green added baskets, Speer came back with his third 3-pointer to put things on ice at 60-38 with a little more than four minutes remaining.
McVeigh was especially pleased with how his team started the game, given it was a midweek game and a smaller crowd than a weekend matchup.
“I thought we came out alright in the first quarter, we put up 21 and really did some nice things,” he said. “We talk about it all the time, we don't care what day it is or whether it's a practice or a game. But whenever we step on the floor, we have to be ready to play.
“I thought in the second half we did a good job of adjusting and crowding their shooters, and just getting out in transition more to get some easy buckets,” he added.
Irby scored 18 points for the Pirates, while Lewis had 15 and Green had nine points and nine rebounds. Speer scored his nine points on the three 3-pointers in the fourth.
With the season winding down, the Pirates head to Oak Harbor (5-13, 0-11) Friday night with a chance to clinch at least a share of a third straight SBC title. Perkins will head to St. Paul (8-10) on Saturday, visit Clyde (13-5, 7-4) next Wednesday and close out the regular season at St. Mary Central Catholic (15-4, 8-4) on Feb. 21.
“You just want to be healthy and playing your best basketball going into the tournament,” McVeigh said. “Tonight was a good game for us because Bay has a different style with shooting a lot of 3-pointers with four guys, and they did that tonight. It made us better to play them.
“We go in Friday knowing we can clinch with a win, but historically Oak Harbor is a tough place to play because they make you play sloppy,” he added. “That's part of their physicality and how they play. We need to be focused on doing the little things right, and if we do that, we take care of business.”