ST. MARYS — An NBA All-Star Weekend 3-point shooting contest it was not, but the Bath boys basketball team left St. Marys Memorial High School still tied for the Western Buckeye League lead.
The 19-point win was anything but routine, though. Bizarre is a more fitting description.
The Wildcats sewed up a 56-37 win over the Roughriders early in the second half with another showcase of energy on defense and on the offensive glass that makes Bath a league title contender this winter.
But there was a statistical anomaly still out there to track as the game wound down; Could Bath’s 3-point shooting jinx possibly hold out for the rest of the game?
Bath did everything right in its win over the Roughriders, save for a perplexing 1-for-30 night from 3-point range.
That comes out to three percent shooting from outside.
One for thirty. Three percent. A victory.
Bath head coach Doug Davis just shook his head. He had no explanation for the shooting woes. He did know how his team still won by 19, though. “We forced a lot of turnovers and our defense took them out of what they wanted to do offensively,” Davis said.
Bath held St. Marys leading scorer Garet Fledderjohann, who averaged 17.7 points per game coming into the contest, to no first-half field goals. The Wildcats also plucked 15 offensive rebounds. Bath didn’t have a single turnover in the first half and finished the game with just six miscues.
The one made 3-pointer belonged to Cole Chambers in the second quarter. Bath missed its final 14 three-pointers.
A team that has five players on the floor who can all handle the ball and shoot it from anywhere on the court refused to stop hoisting up shot after shot.
“We could’ve had a bigger, more comfortable lead if we could’ve shot at all from 3-point range,” Davis said.
Bath came into the game shooting 31.8 percent from long distance and averaged 23.3 three-point shots attempted per game.
“That’s the way we’ve played all year,” Davis said. “We’re going to keep playing that way and hopefully make some next time.”
Bath junior Taren Sullivan scored 20 points to lead all scorers. Sullivan went 9-for-19 from the floor and pulled down 10 rebounds along with a silky fastbreak dunk after stealing the ball at mid-court and making a gentle left turn along the baseline for the finish.
It wasn’t just Bath struggling with its outside shooting. The two teams combined to go 3-for-48 from 3-point range as St. Marys went 2-for-18 from long distance.
Bath shot 61 percent inside the 3-point line and finished the game 26-of-71 from the floor, or 36.6 percent.
St. Marys senior Jarrett Taylor turned in another double-digit game in the post for the Roughriders. Taylor scored a team-high 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the floor. Fledderjohann added nine points.
“We like to go out and trap things,” Davis said. “Fledderjohann is St. Marys’ main ballhandler, so we wanted to get him trapped, make him give up the ball and not let him get it back.”
Bath jumped out to a 12-4 lead thanks to that trapping defense in the first quarter before baskets by Isaac Fitzgerald and Derrick Lauth and a free throw by Fledderjohann closed the game to 12-9.
Bath responded with a quick 6-0 run — with two quick baskets off turnovers in the final minute of the first quarter spurring them on — and never looked back. The Wildcats led 33-16 at the half and took a 46-24 lead into the fourth quarter.
Austin James pulled down nine rebounds for St. Marys.
St. Marys travels to Lima Perry tonight at 6:30 p.m.
The St. Marys JV basketball team won its second straight game via buzzer beater. The JV Riders won 38-36 on Josh Young’s putback at time expired on an eight-foot putback along the baseline. The Riders beat New Bremen on a buzzer beater last Saturday night.