DELPHOS — Delphos St. John’s clamped down at the defensive end.
It seemed like there was a St. John’s defender in nearly every Upper Scioto Valley passing lane.
And when USV managed to get a shot off, it was highly-contested.
St. John’s jumped out quickly and then pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 59-36 victory in a nonconference boys basketball game at Robert A. Arnzen Gymnasium Tuesday night.
St. John’s defensive pressure paved the way for 23 USV turnovers, 10 of those miscues coming in the first quarter.
Brady Parrish led St. John’s (2-0) with 17 points, six rebounds, two blocks and three steals. Aiden Rode scored 12 points and pulled down five rebounds. Isaac Fairchild had 11 points, nine boards and two steals. Brady Grothaus added eight points, 10 rebounds and five steals for the Blue Jays.
Quinn Sanders led Upper Scioto Valley (1-1) with 14 points and seven rebounds. Connor Sanders had 13 points, including three 3-pointers.
“For three quarters of the game, I thought we did a lot of good things,” St. John’s coach Aaron Elwer said. “We came out hard at both ends, especially defensively. Our ball pressure allowed us to get out into transition and get some easy baskets that way.
“I thought that in the second quarter, we started to play a little (too) fast and tried to make too good of a play, rather than allowing our stuff to work for us. … So, we had some empty possessions.”
It didn’t take long for St. John’s to take control of the game.
Within the first three minutes of the contest, the Blue Jays pushed out to a 9-2 lead.
Rode scored five points in that opening spurt for St. John’s.
The Blue Jays pushed the tempo. With three minutes left to play in the first stanza, St. John’s had extended its lead to 12-2, which held up until the first stop.
USV struggled in the first quarter. The Rams were just 1 of 11 shooting from the field.
Rode led St. John’s in the first quarter with five points.
USV’s struggles continued in the second quarter.
The Rams did not turn it over as much, however, they still struggled to get good looks at their basket.
The Blue Jays kept pushing the tempo as they extended their lead to 26-8 by the halftime break.
Fairchild led the Blue Jays with nine first-half points, seven of those points coming in the second stanza.
USV was just 2 of 23 shooting in the first half. The Rams turned it over 15 times in the first 16 minutes of action.
St. John’s was 11 of 30 shooting from the field.
However, USV started to find its range in the third quarter.
The Rams cut the deficit to 5, 34-29 by the third stop. USV outscored St. John’s in the third quarter, 21-8. The Rams were 7 of 13 from the floor, while the Blue Jays were just 2 of 13 from the field.
However, St. John’s came out strong to open the fourth quarter.
The Blue Jays opened with a 6-0 run to push their lead to 40-28. Parrish had a couple inside baskets, while Grothaus scored once down low as well.
By the 3:45 mark, St. John’s had pushed its advantage to 16, 47-31.
The Blue Jays were 10 of 14 from the floor in the final eight minutes.
“We had a good lead at halftime, but tonight we did not play really well in the third quarter,” Elwer said. “They (USV) got hot and made some tough-contested threes, as we were struggling a little bit against their 1-3-1 (zone). But we challenged our guys – going into the fourth quarter – that we needed a good eight minutes. And I thought we played really well in the fourth quarter.”
For the game, St. John’s shot 40 percent from the field. USV countered with 25-percent shooting from the floor.
St. John’s controlled the boards, 40-23.
“It’s really early,” Elwer said. “I told our guys that we aren’t going to be perfect. We will look at the film, get to practice and try to fix some of our mistakes from tonight.”
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.