ST. MARYS — Efficiency ruled the night for the surging Celina Bulldogs in a 62-40 win over the St. Marys boys basketball team on Friday night.
Celina hit eight of the first nine shots it took and went 15 of 18 (83 percent) from the floor in the first half to build a 10-point halftime lead. The Bulldogs then wore on the Roughriders with a suffocating brand of defense.
“I thought we did a nice job of getting the ball into the paint to our post guys off penetration,” Celina head coach Chris Bihn said. “A lot of the stuff we were getting were lay-ups off the break, but I also thought in the half court we did a good job of getting in the paint and finding open shooters. If we can get get our hips squared and get good looks, we can shoot it pretty well.”
Feed the post, make a pass and make the easy shot. The Bulldogs did it over and over again in the first half.
“I’ll bet we had six or seven different guys we posted up tonight,” Bihn said. “We have to take what the defense gives us and our guys are getting better and better at that.”
Celina has now won eight straight over the Roughriders and six straight on the season to improve to 10-3 and 4-1 in the Western Buckeye League.
St. Marys head coach Dan Hegemier said his team helped feed Celina’s hot start by giving them runouts to go along with the Bulldogs’ torrid start from the perimeter.
“We were our own worst enemy,” Hegemier said. “We were down 10 at half and how many passes did we pass it right into their hands for a lay-up? You just can’t do that against a good team.”
The Roughriders had 11 turnovers in the game, but they often came near the mid-court where Celina defenders could pick off a pass and then go the distance the other way down the floor.
St. Marys falls to 5-9 and 1-4 in the league. St. Marys is scheduled to travel to Sidney on Saturday for a 6 p.m. junior varsity tip-off.
The Bulldogs shot 27 of 41 (65.9 percent) from the floor on the night.
Celina’s Ryan Hoyng led the way with 14 points.
“Hoyng is probably one of the smartest players we’ve played all season,” Hegemier said. “He’s a very heady young man. Their post people pass the ball extremely well. They passed the ball well and we didn’t.”
Caleb Hoyng added 13 points off the bench. Logan DeLong hit double figures with 11 points on 5 of 5 shooting.
Celina hosts Crestview on Saturday night at 6 p.m.
The St. Marys junior varsity team won, 49-42.