Boys Basketball: Perry pulls away from Temple Christian

PERRY TOWNSHIP – With the loss of several key players from last year’s team, Perry first-year boys basketball coach Thomas Nolte realized that to be successful this season, this year’s squad needed to play extremely hard at the defensive end.

In Wednesday’s Division IV sectional semifinal game against Northwest Central Conference-foe Temple Christian, Perry’s defensive pressure helped pave the way for a 38-27 victory over the Pioneers.

With the win, No. 8 seed Perry (8-15) will play No. 2 seed St. Henry (17-5) in a sectional final on Friday at St. Henry with tip-off set for 7 p.m.

With the loss, Temple Christian ended its season with a record of 8-15.

During the regular season, Perry defeated Temple Christian in a Northwest Central Conference matchup, 44-36.

“That (defense) has been our staple ever since we came together back in November,” Nolte said. “We talked about playing defense at a high level. We want to have active hands and active feet. We really haven’t done that the past couple of weeks. But tonight, I thought we did a good job with our hands and feet and caused some turnovers.”

Temple Christian turned the ball over 15 times on the night, while Perry turned it over 11 times.

The Pioneers struggled from the floor, connecting on just 24 percent of their field-goal attempts. Perry shot 37 percent from the floor.

Brady Shively and Marcus Hill led Perry on Wednesday with 10 points apiece. Shively had three assists and two steals. Hill had five steals and two assists. Za’mere Daniel had seven points and nine rebounds. Jason Thomas added six points, seven boards, and three blocks for the Commodores.

Dawson Clay, a 6-foot-5 senior forward led Temple Christian with nine points and 14 rebounds. Teammate Malachi Menke added eight points and four rebounds for the Pioneers.

Nolte was pleased with how his team kept Clay in check on Wednesday.

“The first time we played (regular season), he (Clay) had 16 (points) and 12 (rebounds) against us. So, I thought Za’mere Daniel did a fabulous job guarding him tonight. Clay is one of the toughest guys we have played against this season,” Nolte said.

On Wednesday, Perry slipped out with a 13-7 lead by the end of the first quarter. By halftime, the Commodores were clinging to a 16-15 advantage.

“We talked in the locker room at halftime about upping our tempo a little more and putting more pressure in the half-court and full-court,” Nolte said. “I thought we did a better job of wearing them down in the second half. (In the) first half we held them to 15 points. That was good, but we weren’t satisfied with that.”

By the end of the third quarter, Perry pulled out to a 30-21 lead. The Pioneers turned the ball over five times in the third.

In the final eight minutes, the Pioneers were just 2 of 12 shooting from the floor.

For the game, Temple Christian held a slight 31-28 edge on the boards.

Nolte said his team has struggled to score points this season.

“We’ve been struggling (offensively) all season,” Nolte said. “We’ve been averaging like around 46 (points) a game. We have some kids that are buying in, and these seniors are leading us. So, I think that good things are to come for us down the road.”

Perry 38, Temple Christian 27

Score by quarters:

Temple Christian 7 8 6 6 – 27

Perry 13 3 14 8 – 38


Jabaz DuPree 2, Malachi Menke 8, Nolyn Wright 3, Alex Patrick 3, Dawson Clay 9, Isaiah Kiser 2. Totals: 10-4-27.


Marcus Hill 10, Za’mere Daniel 7, Jason Thomas 6, Dezzmin Cob 5, Brady Shively 10. Totals: 15-6-38.

3-pointers made: Temple Christian – Malachi Menke 1, Alex Patrick 1, Nolyn Wright 1; Perry – Dezzmin Cobb 1, Brady Shively 1.

Records: Temple Christian 8-15; Perry 8-15