Perrysburg's Quinn Thomas, right, defends against Napoleon's Anson Lankenau in Thursday night's game.
THE BLADE/JEREMY WADSWORTH
Shane Edwards spent some extra time after practices this week just working on his shot.
The additional work played a role in Perrysburg's 6-foot-3 senior guard pumping in a career-high 33 points in a 72-60 victory over defending Northern Lakes League champion Napoleon on the Yellow Jackets' home court Thursday night.
After failing to score in the opening quarter, Edwards woke up offensively in the second quarter, scoring 14 of Perrysburg's 25 points to help the Yellow Jackets (3-0, 1-0 NLL) build a 40-22 halftime lead.
"This is a team sport, and I didn't get those shots without the help of my teammates," said Edwards, who hit a pair of 3-pointers during the game and was 9 of 9 on foul shots.
Perrysburg coach Dave Boyce commended Edwards for his performance, which included six rebounds.
"He played a nice all-around game," Boyce said. "He rebounded well tonight. He handled the ball well. He shot some free throws and got to the basket. I think that's what he's capable of doing."
Nick Moschetti also finished in double figures for the Yellow Jackets, pouring in 18 points. He scored 14 points in the first half of a key early season NLL contest between Perrysburg and Napoleon (0-1, 0-1).
As a team, the Yellow Jackets jumped on the Wildcats early — going up by as much as 21 points in the first half — and never relinquished the lead.
Boyce thought it was as good an all-around effort they've played up to this point in the season. In particular, the offensive output, which included five 3-pointers and a 15-for-18 showing from the foul line, was a welcoming sight.
"We hadn't shot well, so far, this year, but we shot well today," Boyce said. "Our effort has been there, but I thought tonight we showed some poise and some mental toughness."
Jordan Lauf paced the Wildcats with a team-high 21 points, which included four of Napoleon's nine 3-pointers. Blake Dunbar and Levi Damman finished with 15 and 10 points, respectively, for a Wildcats team playing their first game of the season roughly two weeks after the official tip-off of the high school season.
Napoleon had to reschedule its first two games because more than half of the players were members of the football team that made a deep playoff run. They Wildcats walked into their season-opener with limited practice time and only one scrimmage.
It appeared to take about a half before the Wildcats started to show some of the competitiveness and skill that were fixtures in them winning the NLL title a year ago. The Wildcats chipped away at the Yellow Jackets' double-digit lead after halftime and eventually came within four points of tying the score early in the fourth quarter.
A 3-pointer from deep in the corner by Damman cut Perrysburg's lead to 52-48 with 6:27 left.
Perrysburg responded with an 8-0 spurt and led 60-48 when Quinn Thomas made 1 of 2 free throws after being fouled with just over three minutes left in the contest.
The Yellow Jackets maintained control the rest of the way. Edwards excited the Yellow Jackets’ crowd with a breakaway two-hand slam to make it 67-52 with 1:52 left to seal it.
"The first half I thought we shot the ball too quick, made bad passes and didn't penetrate well enough," Napoleon coach Tim Badenhop said. "But I'm proud of our kids. In the second half we could have folded but we played strong.
"That's a credit to our kids."
Contact Donald Emmons at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-724-6302 or on Twitter @DemmonsBlade.