After connecting on 10-of-24 3-point shots in the district semifinals, the Commodores shot only five treys and instead pounded the ball inside with great success, and the end result was a 60-51 Perry win that gave them their first district basketball championship in school history.
The Commodores got off to a solid start with 6-foot-4 Kobe Glover scoring 6 first quarter points to give Perry a 14-13 lead after the first period of play.
The Commodores used a full-court press after every made basket and that pressure would wear on the Redskins as the game went along.
Perry flashed its balance in the second quarter as six players scored on the way to a 17-13 advantage that gave Perry a 31-26 lead going to the halftime break.
The Commodores then grabbed their biggest lead of the night at 40-30 early in the third period before St. Henry made a 7-0 run to get back into the game, but Perry still held a 45-40 lead going to the final period of play.
The Redskins would get to with-in 52-49 before Perry closed out the game on an 8-2 run to claim the historic victory.
“Our guys effort was tremendous and I thought Seth Poling did a heck of a job defensively on Mitchel Stammen,” Perry coach Matt Tabler said. “I also thought that our pressure wore on them as the game went on. This win means a lot to our community but it means everything to the kids.”
Perry shot 70 percent from the field in the game as they connected on 21-of-31 shots in the contest. They were led in scoring by Glover with 17 points (that came on 7-of-8 shooting) while Jakoby Lane-Harvey added 16 points and 12 assists. Orion Monford chipped in with 10 points to continue his hot tournament scoring streak. The southpaw has totaled 17, 16, and 10 points in three Perry wins so far.
Perry placed seven players into the scoring column and that balance was too much for the Redskins to overcome.
“It feels great, to make history is just amazing,” Monford said. “We all came together and played as a team to get this win.”
St. Henry, which managed just 35 percent from the floor on 18-of-51 shooting against the tenacious Perry man to man defense, was led in scoring by Jesse Niekamp with a game-high 19 points. Stammen, who totaled 25 points in the district semifinals, would finish with a hard-earned 18 points and Evan Lefeld added 12 points for the Redskins.
The Perry magic carpet ride of a season continues as the Commodores improved to 22-3 on the season while St. Henry bows out at 18-7.
Perry now advances to the Kettering Fairmont regional where the Commodores will meet Yellow Springs (18-7) at 8 p.m. Tuesday.
The Lima News sports department can be reached at 567-242-0451.