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Published: Saturday, 2/27/2010

Jackets sink Blue Devils to finish perfect in NLL

BY MARK MONROE
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

On Senior Night, Perrysburg's upperclassmen ensured the Yellow Jackets would post a perfect mark in league play.

Guard Matt Marquette scored a game-high 21 points and forward Charlie Hughes tallied 19 to lead Perrysburg to a convincing 67-52 boys basketball win over visiting Springfield. The seniors also combined for 14 rebounds as the Yellow Jackets (19-1) put a bookend on a flawless season in the Northern Lakes League with a 14-0 record.

"We really thought this was as tough as the league has been in a number of years," Perrysburg coach Dave Boyce said. "We had a bunch of tough games. So it's nice to go through and win them all."

Hughes is just six points shy of breaking the school's all-time scoring record. The 6-foot-5 stalwart also pulled down nine rebounds. Hughes, who will attend the University of Chicago, has 1,120 points in his career. The record of 1,125 was set by John Webster in 1965.

"It was really just about getting the win so we could cut down these nets," Hughes said. "Hopefully I'll get it in the tournament. Sure I would have liked to have done it, but I'm not going to let it get me down tonight."

Marquette, who had five rebounds, helped the Yellow Jackets to a seventh title over the last nine seasons.

"It means a lot," Marquette said as his teammates cut down the nets. "The seniors really wanted it bad and we got it. We need momentum for the tournament because we want to go far."

Springfield (14-5, 9-5) was led by the league's second and third leading scorers. Leroy Alexander had 15 points and Chester McFadden added 10.

The Blue Devils led once, 2-0, just 40 seconds into the game. But Hughes scored back-to-back baskets. Kevin Schenk (eight points) and Alec Schmenk (nine) then hit back-to-back 3-pointers for an instant 10-2 Yellow Jacket lead.

Schenk then completed a

12-0 run with a steal and a bucket. Marquette opened up a 20-7 lead with a 3-pointer to start the

second quarter.

The Blue Devils closed back to within 28-20 when McFadden converted a steal into a layup. But Perrysburg maintained a 30-22 lead at the half.

Springfield's Kevin Outly and Quinton Green hit consecutive 3-pointers to pull within four points.

The turning point then came on McFadden's emphatic two-handed slam that made it 35-32 with 3:57 left in the third. McFadden was whistled for a technical foul for hanging on the rim too long.

Hughes converted both foul shots and then hit a jumper for a 39-32 Perrysburg lead. Moments later Karter Sell drilled a 3-pointer for an 11-point advantage. Springfield would get no closer than nine the rest of the way.

"We were hoping to be playing big games at the end of the year," Boyce said "Springfield played their heart out. They kept coming. We never really stretched it out. This helps us going into the tournament."

The Yellow Jackets open tournament play Friday at Liberty-Benton against the Tuesday's winner of the Findlay/Anthony Wayne sectional opener.

Boyce said his team stayed under control with quick ball movement and did not try to force it into the hands of Hughes, who started the game within 24 points of the record.

"He has gotten where he's gotten by our team playing this way," Boyce said. "If we tried to force it and tried to go for it, that's when we'd probably screw it up."

Contact Mark Monroe at:

mmonroe@theblade.com

or 419-724-6354.



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