ST. MARYS — Quinn Zaerr’s finest performance of his first varsity season showed just what kind of an inside-outside threat the 6-foot-4 sophomore can become.
Zaerr’s complete game was on display as he scored 24 points, drained a trio of 3-pointers and beat up Sidney in the post with 17 rebounds in St. Marys’ 64-44 win on Saturday night.
Sidney at St. Marys boys basketball photos
“Quinn had a nice game in there,” St. Marys head coach Dan Hegemier said. “He got off the floor and timed the ball really well. Plus, he worked for his own shots a little bit and stuck some threes and battled inside. That’s what we need from him.”
Zaerr left the floor to a big ovation after his night. It was reward for a lot of hard work on his game this past offseason, making him into a varsity-level player. His perimeter shooting improved from his freshman to sophomore season, Zaerr said.
“I worked on it a lot in the offseason and it’s something that’s just come to me this season,” Zaerr said. “I’ve been using it. I’m a much better outside shooter this year than I was a year ago.”
Zaerr went 3-of-6 from 3-point range and was 9-of-16 from the floor.
St. Marys’ leading scorer Garet Fledderjohann exited the game with his fourth foul midway through the third quarter. The Roughrider bench helped keep the margin in double digits while St. Marys’ lead ballhandler and scorer sat.
And as Sidney brought some pressure to try to take advantage of the senior’s absence, St. Marys burned the Yellow Jackets in the full-court several times.
“We were rattled a few times because it’s the first time we’ve had to play without him, but we burned them a couple of time with easy baskets,” Hegemier said.
The rest of the Riders came through. Derrick Lauth hounded Sidney ballhandlers, picking up a several steals and turning them into eight fast-break points. Adam Neal had five offensive rebounds that helped lead to three points and the Riders’ major advantage on the glass.
“We kept it together. We kept it rolling,” Zaerr said.
St. Marys snagged 22 offensive rebounds and outrebounded the Yellow Jackets 40-22.
“Sidney isn’t real big, so we focused on getting position inside and getting offensive rebounds,” said Zaerr, who had 17 seven offensive boards.
The effort on the glass covered a rough night shooting, as St. Marys went 22-of-63 from the floor (34.9 percent) and 6-of-23 from 3-point range (26.1 percent). But whenever the Riders missed a shot, they had someone under the basket to go back up with another shot.
“We’ve really been trying to emphasize that over the past couple weeks,” Hegemier said.
Fledderjohann scored 14 points and Austin James added 12 points for St. Marys.
The Roughriders went on a 10-0 run that stretched from the final minutes of the first quarter until midway in the second quarter that turned a Sidney 12-9 lead into a St. Marys seven-point advantage.
When Sidney closed the gap to 21-18 with 2:28 left in the second quarter, St. Marys ended the first half with an 11-3 run that seemed to take all the starch out of the Yellow Jackets. St. Marys’ Austin James canned a 3-pointer with seven seconds left in the half to send the Riders to the locker room with a 32-21 advantage.
The Roughriders (5-10) scored 16 points in each of the four quarters to break the 60-point barrier for the third time this season.
Sidney (2-15) has lost six straight games. The Yellow Jackets host Wapakoneta on Tuesday night.
Jalen Herd led Sidney with 11 points. Conner Echols added seven points.
St. Marys improved to 5-2 in Saturday night games this season.
The Riders travel to Wapakoneta on Friday night.