Perrysburg's Nick Moschetti gets squeezed by Springfield's Mason Durden, left, and Manny Durden.
Many components go into winning or losing a basketball game.
Tuesday night at Perrysburg, it was a seemingly harmless stretch of less than three minutes to open the third quarter which paved the way to a 59-50 Northern Lakes League boys victory for the host Yellow Jackets over Springfield.
PHOTO GALLERY: Perrysburg topples Springfield
After rallying from a 16-6 first-quarter deficit to tie it at 24 at the half, the preseason NLL favorite Blue Devils had committed five quick fouls by the 5:07 mark of the third quarter.
When that succession of whistles was complete, the game was still even at 26.
But this stretch served to eventually put Springfield in foul trouble, led to an early bonus situation for Perrysburg, and a fourth-quarter parade to the foul line for the Jackets (3-0, 2-0 NLL).
Nick Moschetti, Perrysburg’s 6-foot-3 senior guard, led all scorers with 21 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Nine of Moschetti’s points came from the stripe, including a 6-for-8 effort in the final 6:15.
In all, Perrysburg was 20 for 30 on free throws, compared to 6 for 9 in the game for the Devils (2-1, 1-1), who got 18 points from Mason Durden and 11 points from Manny Durden.
In a game of catch-me-if-you-can, Springfield followed a pattern of falling behind, pulling close, and then dropping off.
The Yellow Jackets, aided by 3-pointers from Moschetti and sophomore guard Trevor Hafner, shot out to an 11-4 lead and extended it to 10 points entering the second quarter.
“Defensively we did what we wanted to do,” Perrysburg coach Dave Boyce said of grabbing the 16-6 lead. “We got them to take some tough shots, and we rebounded well and made some shots in that time period.
“When they came back a little bit, they went to the offensive boards hard, and we had a couple turnovers. You knew they weren’t going to go down in the first quarter. We told the kids it was going to take 32 minutes.”
Hafner was fouled shooting a 3-pointer just before the halftime buzzer, and he cashed in two of the three free throws to send the game to halftime tied, after Springfield’s 18-8 second-quarter surge.
Perrysburg's Nate Patterson goes to the net against Springfield's Chad Roy during a Northern Lakes League game at Perrysburg on Tuesday.
The Blue Devils gained their only second-half lead at 26-24 when 6-8 senior forward Chad Roy converted a spin move into a short bank shot 50 seconds into the third quarter.
That bucket came amid the pivotal five-foul flurry, which was followed by a key 12-2 run by Perrysburg. That surge was capped by two Hafner free throws for a 36-28 lead with 2:08 left in the third.
Springfield got no closer than four points thereafter, mainly because most of the Devils’ mini-rallies were muted by Perrysburg’s trips to the foul line. The Jackets converted 12 of their 16 free throws in the final period.
“They were in the bonus early, and that really hurt,” Springfield coach Stan Joplin said. “You have to give them credit for that. We didn’t do a very good job of moving our feet. We started to reach and grab.
"We got beat on the boards and on loose balls, and we might’ve settled for too many jump shots instead of being aggressive with the ball. We just couldn’t get over the hump.”
In addition to Moschetti’s fine all-around game — which included a 3-pointer to beat the third-quarter buzzer for a 41-34 lead — Boyce credited guards Quinn Thomas (nine points), Matt Mesker (four points), and Hafner (10 points) for their collective effort in supplying timely crucial plays, especially after halftime.
“We just caught the ball strong, dribbled it strong, and made them foul us,” Moschetti said. “We got to the line and made our free throws, which really turned out in the end to win the game.
“It feels great to them to come in here and us get a big win under our belt, and kind of show the league that we’re going to contend for it.”
When Springfield was at its best — in short stretches — much of that was because of Mason Durden. His two 3-pointers, plus a steal and layup, all came in a span of 65 seconds and got the Blue Devils within 52-46 with 2:00 remaining.
“We handled the ball well, we kept rebounding right to the end, which was huge, and we made our free throws,” Boyce said. “Durden made those two big 3-pointers, and obviously that added some suspense. We just made a couple plays we had to make at the end.”
Perrysburg hit five of six free throws from there to ice the win.
The Yellow Jackets were 17 of 36 (47 percent) from the field and equaled Springfield’s 25 rebounds in the game. The Devils were 20 of 47 (43 percent), and committed 15 turnovers while forcing 11.
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