By ANDY WOLF
TIFFIN — Austin Ball and Drew Ritzler put on a 3-point shooting clinic in the first quarter, trading long-range bombs in Tiffin Calvert’s first-quarter 15-0 run.
The aerial attack proved to be too much for St. Wendelin to overcome, and the Mohawks dropped a 62-30 Midland Athletic League decision to the Senecas Thursday night.
“We wanted to get up and press them to force some easy shots,” Ball said. “We’ve been putting in the extra practice and it has helped find open looks off our penetration.”
Ball scored 20 of his game-high 22 points in the first half, while Ritzler had 14 of his 19 points before intermission.
“We allowed them to get the ball where they wanted and they just didn’t cool down,” St. Wendelin coach Jim Rutter said. “Once they got rolling, we weren’t able to step up with the mental toughness.”
The Senecas (4-7 overall, 3-2 MAL) rolled to 24-9 first-quarter lead and never looked back.
“Our big focus was being consistent at both ends of the floor and putting four quarters together,” Calvert coach Ted Willman said. “Tonight we were fortunate to be patient and find the open guys to knock shots down. Ritzler and Ball both made great reads to find open shots and get to the basket.”
Ball and company quickly went back to work in the second quarter, this time working the ball inside.
As the halftime buzzer sounded, the Mohawks (5-6, 1-5) found themselves on the wrong end of a 44-15 margin.
“We played every defense we had and it didn’t matter,” Rutter said. “We didn’t get to the shooters. We reverted back to a few things in the past by standing around and letting the pressure bother us.”
Calvert closed the third quarter on a 7-2 run after holding the Mohawks scoreless over a four-minute stretch.
“We start the second half from scratch. There’s no score we’re watching and we settled right back in on both ends,” Willman said.
Hunter Perry led the Senecas with six rebounds, while Mike Bennett distrubuted seven assists.
Peter Campbell and Brady Rutter each finished with six points to lead St. Wendelin. Rutter, Walters and Cole Frankart each had three rebounds, with Rutter adding three assists and three steals.
“We’ll take a look at the effort to prepare better next time,” coach Rutter said. “At times our effort looked lifeless and that’s just a matter of coming ready to play.”
Calvert won the junior varsity game 42-29. Adam Recker led the Senecas with 15 points. Joel Lopez had 12 for the Mohawks.
st. wendelin (30)
Root 2-0–4, Murray 1-0–2, Moon 0-2–2, Campbell 2-2–6, Rutter 2-0–6, Frankart 2-0–4, Walter 2-0–4, Schetter 1-0–2. TOTALS: 12-41 4-6 — 30.
tiffin calvert (62)
Bennett 2-3–7, Behm 4-0–8, Ritzler 7-1–19, Ball 8-3–22, Meyer 1-0–2, Stith 1-0–2, Somers 1-0–2. TOTALS: 24-46 6-10 — 62.
St. Wendelin 9 6 6 9 — 30
Calvert 24 20 10 8 — 62
3-Point GOALS: St. Wendelin 2 (Rutter 2); (Calvert 7 (Ritzler 4, Ball 3).
REBOUNDS: St. Wendelin 15 (Rutter, Walters, Frankart 3); Calvert 23 (Perry 6).
TURNOVERS: St. Wendelin 17; Calvert 10.
JUNIOR VARSITY: Tiffin Calvert, 42-29.
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