BROCKWAY — Facing just a six-point deficit late in the third quarter, the St. Marys boys basketball team pulled away late in the game against Brockway.
The Dutchmen used a 34-15 finish over the last eight minutes to defeat Brockway, 85-60, on Monday evening at Brockway High School.
The Dutchmen (5-4) was led once again by Nathan Schneider, who scored 30 points on the night, including 25 of them in the first three quarters.
“As the season goes on, he’s been more and more efficient for us,” said St. Marys coach Shad Boschert. “I think he was scoring the same earlier, but taking a little more shots. Now he’s getting other guys involved and it’s opening up more for him.”
“He definitely makes them go,” said Brockway coach Rick Clark. “He can create his own shots and if you sag off him too much, he’ll knock down the open three on you. With his size and his length, he’s able to finish against just about any defender. That’s a hard predicament to put yourself in. Then when you step in on him, he kicks it out to wide open shooters and they knock them down.”
Brockway, which dropped to 5-5 on the season, got 20 points off the bench from Alec Freemer, 14 from Carter Adams, and 10 from Noah Vokes.
The Dutchmen put a nice down payment on a win early in the game as they started the game with a 22-3 run in under six minutes.
Still, the Rovers worked the game back to single digits by the end of the first quarter, thanks to the outside shooting from Freemer.
The sophomore hit a pair of corner threes before getting fouled at the buzzer on another three-ball from the corner. Freemer hit all three free throws to get the game to 24-15 after a quarter of play.
Once again in the second quarter, the Dutchmen started strong with 10 quick points in the first two minutes, thanks to a couple threes from Schneider and Jackson Lindemuth.
The Dutchmen hit 11 three-pointers in the game, with Schneider and Jared Groll hitting four each.
“We’re pretty efficient offensively, but sometimes we have a tendency to lose focus on the defensive end,” said Boschert. “We just need to learn that when things are going well offensively, we need to continue to play defense and it won’t be such a rough ride like it was there for a while.”
St. Marys’ largest lead of the second quarter was at 15 points, but the Rovers cut it down to 12 by halftime as the two teams went to the locker room at 45-33.
The Rovers got cut the St. Marys lead all the way to 53-47 with just over a minute left in the third quarter.
However, the Dutch got another pair of big shots from long distance from Cahil Parrish and another from Schneider with 10 seconds left to go up 59-47 with a quarter to play.
“They like to go fast and we wanted to slow down their momentum a little bit,” said Clark. “We did a great job getting it all the way down to six (points), and then we didn’t convert on some easy ones and then they knock down a couple threes and the lead gets back up there quickly.
“I thought we put ourselves in a good position in the second half down two possessions. We just didn’t capitalize on some good shots in the paint. They knocked down some threes.”
The hot shooting from beyond the arc continued for the Dutch in the fourth quarter as they hit four of their 11 threes in the final eight minutes.
Groll started the stanza off with a three before Austin Goodrow added another, and Anthony Cortina added a three-point play on a foul to get the lead to 70-49.
Schneider and Groll added one more each in the fourth quarter before being taken out in the final three minutes.
Groll added 18 points for the Dutch, while Cortina had nine. Lindemuth, Goodrow and Parrish had seven apiece.
The Rovers have a quick turnaround this evening as they host Ridgway. St. Marys is back in action on Wednesday as they entertain DuBois.