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By LARRY GOFFINET
LEOPOLD—Hot shooting from the field and free-throw line propelled Perry Central past Orleans 62-46 in PLAC boys basketball Friday.
The Commodores hit 59.4 percent from the field, including 70.8 percent from two-point range.
They hit 22 of 24 free throws, including 15 of 15 in the second half.
They hit their first five two-point attempts as they jumped to a 12-3 lead in the first 3:39 of the game.
Austin LeClere scored six points in that run and had assists on both of Dillon Hubert’s baskets in that stretch.
Reserve Nathan Schwartz scored the Commodores’ other two points on a rebound basket.
“It always helps when you make shots, but I thought our energy and intensity in the first quarter were keys,” said Perry Central Coach Matt Carter.
“They’re a team that if you let them get a lead, they’ll take the air out of the ball and do a very good job of it.”
The Commodores hit only 2 of 8 three-point shots. But a sign it was their night came when Trent Schraner hit a 38-foot one at the end of the first quarter to extend their lead to 10 points, 22-12.
Despite Orleans’ full-court pressure, the Commo-dores committed only three turnovers in the first half.
They weren’t quite as strong with the ball in the third quarter, when they committed four turnovers.
Some of them led to transition opportunities for the Bulldogs, who also hit two three-pointers as they pulled within eight points with 2:33 left in the period.
Another three-pointer and a transition basket pulled them within seven points, 47-40, with 4:49 left in the game.
But LeClere responded with inside baskets on two consecutive possessions.
Then the Commodores hit eight free throws in the final 2:54 to go along with a press-breaking layup by Schraner on an assist from LeClere.
“That first four or five minutes of the third quarter, you’re going to get their best basketball,” said Carter. “But then we regrouped and made another run of our own to build our lead back to 16.”
LeClere led Perry Central with 19 points, 12 rebounds and six assists. Andrew Huber added 11 points, seven rebounds and three assists.
Perry Central dominated the rebounds 30-16.
Cale Hall, Orleans’ leading scorer for the season was held to nine points on 4 for 13 field-goal shooting, including 1 of 7 on three-point attempts.
Perry Central improved to 9-2 overall, 2-0 in the PLAC. Orleans slipped to 9-4 overall, 2-1 in the conference.
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Orleans won the JV game 33-29.
Trey Mullis scored 18 points for Perry Central and Lane Lynch grabbed four rebounds.