PERRY TOWNSHIP — It was game where defensive stops were rarer than agreements between Senate Republicans and Democrats.
Perry greeted visiting Sidney Lehman Catholic on Friday night at Leonard Volbert Gymnasium in Northwest Central Conference action and grabbed a 101-88 victory.
It was obvious from the start that a lot of points were going to be needed to win. The Cavaliers exploded out of the blocks for 26-23 lead after one period of play thanks to a 21-point quarter by 6-foot-5 standout Jackson Frantz.
The Commodores got first quarter offense from Plummie Gardner (10 points) and Jakoby Lane-Harvey (7 points) to keep the contest close.
Perry got a big second period from Jared Poling with 11 points and Lane-Harvey added nine more and the Commodores out-scored the Cavaliers 26-17 to take a 49-43 lead to the half-time break.
Neither team let up in the third quarter of play and Perry got another nine point outburst from Poling and the Commodores took a 71-60 lead to the final period.
Just when it looked like Perry would take control of the contest for good, Lehman Catholic would bounce back and actually got as close as 91-88 before Perry used a 10-0 run over the final 1:18 of the quarter to secure the win.
The win was the ninth in a row for the Commodores after starting the season 0-3 and excellent balance was the key to the victory.
Poling led the way for Perry with 30 points that included 6 treys while Lane-Harvey added 25 points, Gardner finished with 17 points that included three 3-pointers and Xavier Monford chipped in with 15 points.
“Once I hit the first basket it was a real confidence booster,” Poling said. “The whole game had ups and downs but we just kept fighting. It’s big to go 4-0 in conference and it feels good.”
Lehman Catholic (6-5, 3-1 NWCC) got big games from Greg Spearman who finished with a game-high 32 points that included 24 in the second half. Frantz finished with 28 points after his first quarter explosion.
“We talked about being mentally tough this week and that includes making free throws down the stretch (Perry was 11-of-13 in the fourth quarter) and getting stops and rebounds when needed,” Perry coach Matt Tabler said. “Our guards did a great job of penetrating and if they didn’t finish they got kick-outs to Jared.”
Both squads shot the ball with the Cavaliers finishing at 45 percent from the field on 31-of-69 while Perry connected on 33-of-61 good for 54 percent shooting.
Lehman went 17-of-30 from the free throw line while Perry converted on 25-of-30 charity shots to seal the win.