ST. MARYS — St. Marys’ offense abruptly stalled in the fourth quarter and the Roughriders never got the momentum back in a 64-47 home loss to Defiance on Friday night.
St. Marys went 1-for-9 from the floor in the fourth quarter and scored just three points as another Western Buckeye League game slipped out of reach.
“It’s the same old thing,” St. Marys head coach Dan Hegemier said. “We play three quarters pretty well, compete, and then in the fourth quarter the lights go off. We couldn’t defend and we couldn’t run half court. I don’t know what it is. I know they’re not tired. That has nothing to do with it."
Defiance at St. Marys boys basketball photos:
The late Roughrider collapse was similar to the one seven days earlier, when St. Marys watched a close WBL contest with rival Celina turn into a laugher in the fourth quarter.
The Roughriders fell to 0-5 in Western Buckeye League play and 4-10 overall.
St. Marys and Defiance went back-and-forth for three quarters in what looked like was developing into heated Western Buckeye League contest and an offensive showcase between St. Marys senior guard Garet Fledderjohann and Defiance’s senior forward Jordan Tobias.
Fledderjohann scored a game-high 23 points. Defiance’s Tobias displayed his inside-outside game with a 21-point night. Tobias went 10-of-17 from the floor to go with six rebounds.
St. Marys appeared to be taking control of the game early in the third quarter.
The Roughriders grabbed a 33-28 lead in the opening minutes of the second half when Fledderjohann splashed in 3-pointers on consecutive trips down the floor.
But Defiance scored on five of its next six trips down the floor and took a lead it would never relinquish. Defiance outscored St. Marys 22-17 in the third quarter and took a 48-44 lead into the fourth quarter.
“We got some stops and that wasn’t easy to do against Fledderjohann, especially,” Defiance head coach Kirk Lehman said. “Then we executed on offense really well. Jordan Tobias hit some really big shots and then Will Batt stepped into a couple. Then St. Marys tried to go zone and we knocked in a couple of shots to pull them out of it. I thought we executed really well.”
Defiance shot 59 percent from the floor and drained 6-of-12 from beyond the 3-point arc. Wes Detter hit 3-of-4 from long range.
The Bulldogs scored more than 60 points for just the third time this season after coming into the game as the WBL’s top defensive team at 43.8 points per game and the league’s worst offensive team at 49.4 points per contest.
St. Marys senior guard Austin James scored 12 points on four 3-pointers — all of them coming in the first half. James dropped in four 3-pointers in the first half six days after tying a school record with seven 3-pointers against Perry last Saturday night.
St. Marys hit on 8-of-17 three-pointers on the night, a 47.1 percent clip.
Defiance sophomore Katwan Singleton locked down on James defensively in the second half, holding the St. Marys soutpaw to just one shot from the floor and no shots from beyond the arc.
“We knew he got his shot off quick and could really stroke it,” Lehman said. “I’m really proud of our sophomore Katwan Singleton in the second half. He did a tremendous job on him. Katwan usually scores a little bit for us, but tonight he sacrificed his scoring and put the clamps down a bit in the second half.”
The Roughriders showed resilience in the first half to be in the game. St. Marys rallied back from a nine-point second-quarter deficit to take a 27-26 lead to the half.
Defiance went on a 9-0 run to take a 22-13 lead and then led 25-16 before St. Marys ended the first half with a 11-1 run of its own to end the first half. St. Marys’ Isaac Fitzgerald started the rally with a basket, followed by a Quinn Zaerr putback, two straight baskets by Fledderjohann and a James 3-pointer in the final minute.
But St. Marys couldn’t get any good looks in the fourth quarter.
“Sometimes we depend upon one pass and a shot,” Hegemier said. “We have to run half court, execute and find a good shot and somebody has to step up and make a shot. For three quarters? Yeah. But the fourth? It’s almost embarrassing.”
St. Marys freshman Nathan Wilker got the start at the off-guard position. Junior guard Derrick Lauth came off the bench and got a two key steals in St. Marys’ second-quarter run.
Defiance has won the last six meetings against the Roughriders.
St. Marys hosts Sidney tonight at 6 p.m.
Defiance improved to 9-5 on the season and 2-3 in the WBL. The Bulldogs host Patrick Henry on Saturday.
ST. MARYS 47
1 2 3 4 — F
D 18 8 22 16 — 64
SM 13 14 17 3 — 47
Jordan Tobias 10-1-21, Trey Guilliam 7-1-16, Wes Detter 4-0-11, Katwan Singleton 2-0-4, Emilio Pearson 1-0-2, William Batt 2-0-5, Alex Schrag 2-0-5. TOTALS 28-2-64.
Three-Point Field Goals — Guilliam, Detter (3), Batt, Schrag.
Garet Fledderjohann 9-1-23, Jarrett Taylor 2-0-4, Austin James 4-0-12, Isaac Fitzgerald 1-0-2, Quinn Zaerr 2-0-4, Derrick Lauth 1-0-2. TOTALS 19-1-47.
Three-Point Field Goals — Fledderjohann (4), James (4).