LIMA — Turnovers are a killer and normally fundamentally sound Temple Christian had 13 of them in the middle two quarters Tuesday night against visiting Parkway.
But the Pioneers had one of the best starts possible as they connected on 7-of-8 three-point shots in the first quarter as they raced to a 23-6 lead after one period of play and then had to hold on for dear life before grabbing a 63-55 non-conference win.
The Panthers, after hitting only 2-of-18 from the field in the first quarter, started to right the ship in the second quarter behind 10 points off the bench from 6-foot-4 sophomore Justin Barna that still left Parkway in a deep hole trailing 35-21 at the half.
Parkway (3-6) continued to chip to away and got six third quarter points from Barna and trailed only 44-36 going to the final period of play.
The Pioneers (4-5) saw Parkway get within five points twice in the final period but connected on 11-of-14 free throws in the last quarter to seal the win.
“We got off to a tremendous start and they struggled shooting the ball early,” Temple Christian coach Bruce Bowman said. “The turnovers hurt us and they got some easy shots inside and the momentum switched to them. Brock (Bowman) hit a big three and we were able to secure the win with free throws.”
Parkway shot 45 percent from the floor despite connecting on only 3-of-23 on 3-point attempts. But they hit 17-of-28 the final three quarters on 2-pointers once they started pounding the ball inside.
Temple wound up hitting 49 percent from the field including 12-of-24 on 3-pointers in the contest, with five different Pioneer players connecting on treys.
The Panthers were led by Barna with a game-high 21 points and teammate Tanner Bates added 14 for Parkway.
The Pioneers got great balance and were led by Keaton Good with 18 points (3 three’s), Markus Howell (3 three’s) and Michael Breaston (3 three’s) both had 11 points, and Brock Bowman finished with 10 points that included two 3-pointers.
Good and Bowman combined to make 9-of-10 free throws in the fourth period to seal the victory.
“I just try to breathe in and relax at the free throw line,” Good said. “We played well and shot well as a team but those turnovers affected us and let them back in the game.”
Coach Bowman was pleased with the win despite the up and down nature of the win.
“It was important for us to get this fourth win,” Bowman said. “I’m happy with the victory and look forward to us getting better as a team.”
The Pioneers ended the game with 16 turnovers to only two for Parkway but Temple Christian won the battle of the boards by a 34-24 margin.