For decades, the Scott boys basketball program set the standard in Toledo, and the Bulldogs earned the label of perennial state power.
But things are drastically different these days, and there will be some growing pains for the current Bulldogs under first-year head coach Rodney Martin, who look to rebuild after their worst season ever at 3-21 in 2016-17.
As was evident in Monday’s MLK Legacy Classic at Waite, that process may take some time.
GALLERY: MLK Legacy Classic
The Bulldogs (1-10) trailed just 30-28 early in the third quarter before Delaware used a game-breaking 18-3 run to pave the way to a comfortable 64-49 victory against Scott.
The Pacers (5-8) got double-doubles from Terin Kinsway (24 points, 11 rebounds) and Jwan Lyles (14 points, 13 rebounds) in snapping a four-game losing streak. Nate Griggs added 10 points.
“What we talked about at halftime was being tough, rebounding the basketball, and defending,” Martin said. “When the [Delaware] run came, we stopped doing all three. We weren’t competing with toughness, we weren’t in gaps [defensively] helping one another.
“It was a lack of discipline and being locked in, and that’s partly my fault. With a new group, you always have to remind them of those small things that make a difference. It’s frustrating for them, and it’s frustrating for me, because I want them to be successful so bad.”
Forward Eugene Towbridge had 21 points and nine rebounds, and guard Cedric Williams added 10 points for the Bulldogs, who lost their way not long after the halftime break.
Scott had started strong, grabbing a 13-5 lead on a Towbridge putback with 2 minutes, 25 seconds left in the first quarter. But the Pacers found their rhythm by quarter’s end, closing on a 10-5 run capped by buzzer-beating 3-pointer from Ryan Smudz to get within 18-15 entering the second.
Delaware then grabbed the lead on back-to-back inside baskets from Kinsway to start the second, and by halftime the Pacers had taken a 28-25 edge after Kinsway’s rebound and layup with two seconds left.
Williams’ 3 got Scott back within 30-28 with 7:03 to go in the third, but the Bulldogs soon would be undone by their lack of success from 3-point range combined with Delaaware’s effective inside game.
Kinsway got the Pacers rolling with a basket inside with 6:38 to go in the third, and Addison Harvey finished the decisive 18-3 surge with a 3 for a 48-31 lead with 1:57 remaining in that quarter.
Delaware hit eight of its 13 third-quarter shots, mostly from inside, while Scott was just 3-for-14, including 2-for-9 from outside.
“[Delaware] played more together as a team, and they wanted it more,” Towbridge said. “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. If we go inside and keep scoring, that’s what we should do. But we started shooting 3s.”
Behind Marquise Brown, who scored all eight of his points on four baskets inside the paint in the fourth, Scott would get as close as nine points, at 51-42, on a fast-break layup with 5:47 left in regulation.
But the Bulldogs got no closer, as the Pacers answered that rally by topping Scott 13-7 to close the game.
The Pacers were 23-of-45 from the field, including 5-of-10 on 3s, and were 13-of-26 at the foul line. Delaware outrebounded Scott 39-23, helping the Pacers offset the Bulldogs’ 14-7 edge in turnovers forced.
“In the second half, we just went with our basic match-up 2-3 zone [defense] and just tried to pack it in, keep them out of the paint, and make them shoot 3s,” Hayes coach Jordan Blackburn said. “We usually have success when we keep the ball out of the paint.
“Offensively, in the first half, we were just taking too many outside shots. Kinsway has some Division II college offers, and he needs to touch the ball inside. In the first half, he was getting most of his points off of rebounds instead of us throwing it to him, which was the game plan. In the second half, we did a much better job of executing the game plan.”
The Bulldogs were 19-of-49 (39 percent) from the field, including an ice-cold 4-of-22 (18 percent) on 3s, and hit 7-of-12 at the line.
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