DuBOIS — Now you see it. Now you don’t.
It was a ploy that worked almost flawlessly in the second half for the St. Marys Area High School boys’ basketball team as it pulled off a 69-65 come-from-behind win over DuBois Friday.
The Dutch (9-8 overall, 4-4 District 9 League) trailed through the majority of the first three quarters, falling behind by as many as nine points in the third, before senior Nathan Schneider started to take over the game.
Schneider, averaging roughly 25 points per game this season, carved through the DuBois defense time-and-time again in the second half, putting up 11 of his game-high 31 points in the third quarter alone to cut the DuBois lead to just one to open the fourth.
Those 11 third-quarter points were not only as many as he throughout the entire first half but were also part of a 20-point second half for him that represented just over half of the St. Marys offensive output over that same stretch.
And, when the Beavers’ defense stepped up to deny him the lane, it did so at a cost by opening up the baseline.
From there, Schneider was content to simply get the assist as he passed to the open man on the backdoor-cut leading to some easy Dutch points.
While Schneider led the Dutch offensively, eight of the 10 players they sent to the floor scored, including a 15-point effort from Cahil Parrish.
For DuBois, the long-distance shot was its friend again as it buried eight three-pointers in the game, helping to push three players into double-digit scoring.
Justin Manduley, who hit three 3-pointers, led the way with 18 points while fellow junior Jonathan Cruz, who hit five 3s, had 17 points and sophomore Chase Husted finished with 14.
The three-pointers combined with Husted’s play inside helped DuBois overcome an early six-point deficit and turn it into a six-point advantage, 17-11, by the end of the first quarter.
In the second, it was the Dutch that had the touch from outside, hitting three of its four long-distance shots in the quarter, to cut the margin to just two, 32-30, at the half.
The Beavers opened up their biggest lead, 43-34, in the third before Schneider led the march back.
While the lead traded hands several times in the fourth, St. Marys all but took control down the stretch, building an eight-point lead with under 30 seconds to play.
DuBois made a final push to get the lead down to three but fittingly, a foul shot by Schneider with just over two seconds left made it a four-point advantage and ended the Beavers’ chances.
DuBois will travel to Bradford Tuesday, while St. Marys will travel to Punxsutawney Wednesday.