ELIDA — Guarding Elida’s Dakota Mathias is a handful for any team. When his sidekicks drain shots like they did on Friday night in a 77-59 win over the St. Marys boys basketball team, the Bulldogs are a force.
Elida (8-2, 2-1 WBL) drained 13 three-pointers and shot 67 percent from the floor.
Mathias scored a game-high 29 points to go with 10 assists and six rebounds. The future Purdue Boilermaker was 6 of 10 from beyond the arc.
It was a night to tip the cap in Elida’s direction, St. Marys head coach Dan Hegemier said.
“We lost by 20 points and I’m not the least bit upset,” Hegemier said. “You know, they shot it. We threw everything we had at them and the kids played hard.”
Marquavious Wilson added 19 points on 8 of 9 shooting. Austin Allemeier had 12 points on 4 of 6 shooting from 3-point range and Louis Gray had 12 points on 5 of 6 shooting for Elida.
“They were all knocking down shots,” Hegemier said.
St. Marys (4-6, 1-2 WBL) did all it could to stay with the Bulldogs, making 11 of 20 three-pointers and shooting 59 percent from the floor.
Isaac Fitzgerald paced a balanced scoring attack with 11 points. Derek Jay had nine points while Marquis Wilson and nathan Wilker added eight points apiece.
The only thing that slowed down the Roughriders were 20 turnovers, some at crucial times.
St. Marys trailed 40-25 at the half before cutting it down to 10 points at 44-34 when the Riders’ Marquis Wilson hit a nifty floater in the lane. But the Riders turned the ball over several times and Elida stormed back with a 7-0 lead to shut the door on any potential Roughrider comeback.
“We had some stupid turnovers at inopportune times,” Hegemier said. “We had it down to 10 and had the ball twice and turned it over. Against a team on a roll like they are, you just can’t do that.”
Allemeier banked in a half court shot to end the third quarter to give Elida a 62-40 advantage.
Elida has won six straight games since its Dec. 13 one-point loss to Defiance and has won the last seven meetings over the Roughriders since St. Marys upended the Bulldogs in the tournament in 2008.
The Roughriders are off until Tuesday night, when they go to Piqua. The Indians were 5-4 heading into Friday night’s game at Troy.
On Saturday, Elida travels to play state-ranked Archbold, which was 13th in the Associated Press’ Division III poll released earlier this week.