LIMA — Temple Christian’s Brody Bowman got his points but Perry got the win.
The Pioneer shooting sensation scored 30 points but it was not enough to overcome the Commodores who posted a 69-52 victory over Temple Christian in the Northwest Central Conference opener for both teams Friday night.
With the win, the Commodores improve to 2-1 for the season. Temple Christian slips to 1-2.
Coming into the game Perry head coach Matt Tabler said he knew Bowman was a handful and he threw a number of different defensive looks at him and the Pioneers to not only try to stop the senior standout but to wear him and his teammates down.
And while Bowman still fired in 30 it was evident in the second half that Perry’s smothering defensive had taken its toll physically on Bowman and the rest of the Pioneers.
“I think the biggest key is that we wore them down for four quarters,” Tabler said. “We kept telling our kids and we tell them at practice that you are not going to win games in the first, second or third quarter but if you apply pressure, not even defensively, that you can wear them down. Shots they were making in the first and second quarter didn’t drop in the third and fourth just because they were tired.”
To try and stop the Pioneers and Bowman, Perry played a 3-2 defense, a diamond and one press, a man press and the Commodores put four different guys on Bowman.
“A player like that you just can’t stop,” Tabler said. “We have some pretty good defenders and he was just scoring so you shake his hand and hopefully you keep every one else down.”
At halftime, Perry held a 37-31 advantage and Bowman had already posted 17 points. However, the Commodores stepped up their game on both sides of the court and would soon watch the lead balloon from six to double digits when Perry went on a 13-8 run to open up a 52-39 cushion with 1:30 left in the third quarter. Going into the fourth, Perry held a 55-44 lead.
In the third quarter Bowman was held to five.
Temple Christian head coach Bruce Bowman said the Pioneers failed to execute defensively and that was a major factor in the loss.
“Perry is a really nice team and what hurt us tonight was our execution specifically not being able to finish our possessions and rebounding the basketball,” coach Bowman said. “They significantly outrebounded us and tonight we gave them 17 extra possessions as a result of the rebounding difference and I thought that was the game.”
Perry outrebounded Temple Christian 42-20.
Three different Commodores broke the double-digit barrier. Senior Jamal Whiteside had a team-high 20 points followed by Louis Hoersten with 18 points. Chazz Jackson added 12 points.
Other than Bowman no Pioneer cracked double-digits, however, coach Bowman saw some of his players starting to gain confidence on the offensive side of the ball and this will be vital during the season.
Bowman said he thought offensively the team played well and some guys stepped up early and hit some 3-pointers but really it was more about our defense.
“Yes we needed another two or three buckets but really we needed to hold them down,” coach Bowman said. “Their transition offense and their offensive rebounding were really the difference in the game. We are going to learn from it and be fine. We are facing some tough teams early and that is fine. It is great competition. We came up short tonight but we are ready to move on.”
For Tabler, it is the Commodores’ second straight win and he is encouraged by what he has seen in the last two contests.
“I think this can be very dangerous team in March but we know it is a process,” Tabler said. “We don’t want to put our best product on the floor right now. We told our kids we didn’t win a league championship last year and that should sting because we won the last three prior to that but understand it is a seven-step process and we can’t get to step two without completing step one.
Tabler, who said he shrunk the lineup from nine to 11 tonight, points to the contributions of Martell White who grabbed seven rebounds and Will Knight who hit a clutch 3-pointer in the third period.
“If the kids can buy into their roles, like I said, this team can be dangerous,” Tabler said.
Reach Jose Nogueras at 567-242-0468.