The Perrysburg Yellow Jackets are back on top of the Northern Lakes League, and senior Charlie Hughes capped the coronation with another superb effort.
Hughes posted 28 points and 15 rebounds to lead Perrysburg to a 60-44 road win over Southview Friday night. Perrysburg (18-1 overall, 13-0 NLL) clinched the title outright on the strength of an early 14-0 run.
Southview (9-10, 6-7), the two-time defending NLL champions, shot just 37 percent from the floor (17-of-46) and was 0-of-11 from beyond the 3-point arc.
The teams shared the league title two seasons ago. The Yellow Jackets have now won or shared seven of the last nine NLL titles.
"It's something we really wanted to do," Hughes said. "This is the best feeling in the world. We won it my sophomore year and we've won a lot of them over the last 10 years. For us not to have won it last year was a big letdown. It's good to be back on top."
Perrysburg still has its eye on going undefeated in league play. The Yellow Jackets host Springfield in their league finale next Friday.
"We went into the season knowing the league was tough, especially on top," Perrysburg coach Dave Boyce said. "We knew it was going to be a battle every night. I think we may still be on the upswing."
Southview held a 10-4 lead
3:40 into the game as Perrysburg got off to a slow start from the floor. But the Yellow Jackets then embarked on a game-deciding 14-0 spurt.
Senior Matt Marquette scored on a long jumper, and senior Brian Boyce drilled a 3-pointer. Hughes followed with a putback and then scored on a layup just before the first-quarter buzzer to give Perrysburg a 13-10 lead.
"These [seniors] have won coming up. They are not used to losing," Boyce said. "Southview had that great early run and [the seniors] tightened things up."
Junior Kevin Schenk, who finished with 10 points, hit a jumper to open the second quarter, and Marquette followed with a basket inside for an 18-10 lead. Perrysburg held Southview scoreless for six minutes and 17 seconds.
The Yellow Jackets finished with a 30-28 advantage on the boards. They grabbed 10 defensive boards during the pivotal run and took a 36-18 lead into the half.
Southview was 8-of-25 from the field, including 0-of-10 from
3-point range in the first half.
"We just had problems scoring," Southview coach Marc Jump said. "We got good looks, but we missed wide-open shots. For three quarters, we played pretty well. We even beat them in the second half. When we give that type of effort we can play with anyone."
The Cougars started the second half with an 11-2 run to pull within 38-29. But Perrysburg senior Andrew Holliger canned a 3-pointer. Holliger then made an outstanding one-touch pass to Hughes, who scored and then completed a three-point play for a 44-29 lead.
Andy Borcherdt led Southview with 14 points and nine rebounds. Branden Yoshino added 12 points.
Boyce said the team's rebounding in the first half was key.
"They might not have shot very well," Boyce said. "But we also limited them to one [shot]."
Perrysburg hit 16 of 23 free throws.
Hughes scored 13 of his points in the second half after grabbing 10 boards in the first.
"I had it going a little bit and my teammates did a great job finding me," Hughes said. "Rebounding is something that is key to the game. If I can help out with that as well as scoring, it's all the better. Now we'd like to make a nice deep run in the state tournament."
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