First Quarter Propels Riders Past Bath

Drew Jacobs (5) goes in for a layup in the second quarter of Friday night's win over Bath.
Sports Editor

The first quarter was the difference in this one.

With a 14-0 first-quarter lead, the St. Marys Roughriders boys' basketball team were able to keep Bath at arms length in a 54-41 Western Buckeye League victory on Friday night.

The win is just the second in WBL play this season for the Roughriders, but it also sets St. Marys one game above .500 for the first time since the 2014-2015 season.

A combination of the Wildcats' inability to put the ball into the net and the Roughriders' (8-7, 2-3 WBL) ball movement allowed St. Marys to jump out to a 14-0 lead in the opening eight minutes. Eight of those 14 points came courtesy of Jacob Grannan.

Four Roughriders scored at least one point, and the team grabbed 10 rebounds, while Bath (3-11, 0-5) shot 0-of-9 from the field and turned the ball over six times.

Without that first quarter scoring, however, the Wildcats outscored the Roughriders by one point, 41-40.

Bath used a 7-0 run — scoring its first point with 7:49 in the second quarter — to cut the deficit in half, 14-7.

After running into an 0-of-4 slump from the field, the Wildcats finished the first half on an 11-4 run to close the game to within seven, 25-18 at the half.

The closest the Wildcats got was at the 2:10 mark of the third quarter when they trailed by just five, 28-23, but St. Marys ended the third on a 7-2 run to push its lead back to double-digits, 35-24.

Bath opened the fourth with turnovers in its first four possessions and then would go on to miss the first four shots. By then, the Roughriders had a 45-25 lead, their largest lead of the game.

Drew Jacobs and Derek Jay helped preserve the win in the final eight points as Jacobs scored six of his eight points and Jay with nine of his team-high 20 points in the fourth quarter.

The Roughriders defense — who usually surrenders a number of three-point field goals per game — allowed just six on the night and none in the first and third quarters.

The Roughriders also grabbed 19 defensive rebounds, a stark contrast to the contest last week against Elida when the Roughriders surrendered 19 offensive boards.