PERRY TOWNSHIP — Perry boys basketball coach Matt Tabler doesn’t get too concerned when the opposing team takes the lead.
The Commodores have demonstrated they can quickly get right back into the hunt.
In Tuesday’s nonconference boys basketball matchup with visiting Bath, Perry quickly erased an early Bath lead and pulled away for a convincing 65-35 victory at Leonard V. Volbert Gymnasium.
With the win, Perry improves to 12-3. Bath slips to 1-15.
Chazz Jackson led Perry and all scorers with 21 points. Jackson also came away with seven rebounds and four steals. Jamal Whiteside and Ryan Yingst each scored 16 points for the Commodores. Whiteside also made six steals and dished out four assists.
Carter Parlapiano led Bath with 11 points, including three 3-pointers.
It was Bath jumping out to an early 6-2 lead, thanks to 3-pointers by Parlapiano and Jonah Wauben (five points).
However, Perry responded in big fashion.
The Commodores went on a 19-0 run to pull out to a 21-6 lead. Jackson and Terry Riley (five points) each had 3-pointers in that explosive run by Perry.
Perry led 21-11 by the first stop. The Commodores were 9 of 12 shooting from the floor in the first quarter. Bath turned the ball over seven times.
That dominating first quarter by Perry set the tone.
“We went on a 39-0 run on Friday night (103-52 win over Hardin Northern),” Tabler said with a smile. “We can score in bunches. So, we never get too nervous if the other team gets some baskets. But the bottom line is, that was the best defensive effort that I’ve seen in a long time for Perry basketball.”
Perry pressured Bath into 28 turnovers on the night, including 11 in the third quarter.
“I just felt like we got after it,” Tabler said. “Even on their drives, they never had a clean look at the basket. On their shots, I felt like we contested them.”
Perry led 36-24 at the halftime break. Whiteside scored 16 points in the first half to lead Perry. The Commodores were 15 of 27 shooting from the floor in the first 16 minutes.
The Commodores extended their lead to 26, 56-30 by the end of the third quarter. Bath struggled, making just 2 of 9 shots from the floor.
“We’ve done some good things all year,” Bath coach Shawn Allen said. “We will play about a quarter and a half to two quarters of solid basketball. You can win with that at the freshman level, but not at the varsity level. But we did some good things tonight.”
Bath has five freshmen and just three seniors on the roster.
For the game, Perry shot 49 percent from the field. Bath shot 29 percent on its field goal attempts.
Tabler particularly liked the way his team got after it at the defensive end.
“We saw something in the first half, and we kind of got away from it,” Tabler said. “We went into a diamond-and-one at three-quarter court. I thought we could throw them for a loop. In the third quarter, I think they were unsure when we were going to trap. … We don’t always know when we are going to trap. But when we trap, we really have to rotate; and I thought everyone did a good job.”
Perry turned the ball over 12 times on the night.
Bath held the slight edge on the boards, 29-28.
“I felt like we had some different kids step up, but we turned it over four times in less than a minute at the end of the third quarter,” Allen said. “But I thought our effort was really good. Our kids continued to play hard. So, it will all come around.”
Added Tabler, “We gave up some offensive rebounds in the second quarter, where they had some offensive put backs. But other than that, I cannot complain. I thought our defensive pressure was great.”
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.