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Commodores overtake Patriots after slow start

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By Larry Goffinet

LEOPOLD - A second-quarter turnaround on offense and defense spurred Perry Central past Heritage Hills 60-52 in boys basketball Saturday.

The Commodores fell behind 13-6 in the first quarter, hitting only 3 of 13 shots from the field that period while Heritage Hills made 6 of 8.

But in the second quarter Perry Central hit 6 of 9 shots from the field while Heritage Hills hit only 2 of 9 and missed its last six. The Patriots also committed five turnovers that period.

The Patriots still led 17-10 halfway through that quarter. But then Perry Central went on a 12-0 run fueled by Zach Rogier and Nick Huber.

Rogier scored the first eight points of that streak on an inside cut and two three-point baskets to put the Commodores ahead 18-17 with 2:06 left in the half.

Huber then made a steal and a layup and scored another layup off a steal by Rogier to give the Commodores a five-point halftime lead.

What caused the big difference between the first and second quarters?

"In the second quarter we changed our defense," said Perry Central Coach Matt Carter. "We went to some traps and were able to force them into some turnovers. That got us some easy baskets in transition to kind of get us going."

The increased pressure may also have caused the Patriots to hurry some shots. "I think we sped them up some," said Carter. "And we got a hand in the shooter's face better in the second quarter."

Heritage Hills did come back to take a 26-24 lead on a three-point play inside by Tony Butcher with 5:09 left in the third quarter.

And the score was tied 31-31 after Butcher hit a three-point shot with 2:55 left in the third quarter.

But Perry Central answered with a six-point possession to take the lead for good.

Wes Linette hit a three-point shot from the wing and was fouled on the play.

He missed the free throw but grabbed the rebound and passed it to Huber, who hit another three-pointer.

Perry Central outrebounded the Patriots 23-19 as Rogier and Huber each grabbed six and Linette added five. No one had more than three for the Patriots.

Heritage Hills outshot Perry Central from the field 50.0 percent to 45.0 percent but committed five more turnovers than the Commodores and did not get to the free-throw line as often.

Huber led Perry Central with 21 points. Linette added 15 and Rogier 14.

Rogier hit 6 of 8 shots from the field, including 4 of 4 in the first half. He also had four steals and three assists.

"If Zach doesn't step up and make those shots for us, we're in a bigger hole," said Carter. "Zach and Nick both probably played their best game of the year. They were both real active on defense."

Butcher scored 15 points to lead Heritage Hills, 10-11.

Perry Central finished the regular season 11-10.

* * * *

Heritage Hills won the junior varsity game 54-45 as Jeff Echelbarger scored 19 points.

Jacob Schwartz scored 13 points, Alex Rogier 11, and Ryan Hanan nine for Perry Central, 14-6.

Hanan grabbed six rebounds, Rogier made four steals, and Jake Schwartz had four assists.