Riders' Comeback Falls Short

St. Marys' Max Mielke drives to the basket in a non-league home opener against St. Henry on Friday.
Sports Editor

The record may not show it, but the St. Marys Roughriders boys basketball team took a step in the right direction on Friday.

Facing a St. Henry team that defeated the Roughriders 65-49 in last season's opener, the Roughriders stuck with the Redskins in every quarter, but the Riders are still looking for that first win after dropping Friday's home opener, 43-32 in non-league action at Memorial High School.

But make no mistake, the Roughriders have showed signs that they are getting closer after nearly pulling off a comeback win last week against Troy on the road and almost pulling off another one on Friday in front of a home crowd.

Trailing by as much as 14 points — 27-13 — with 6:31 remaining in the third quarter, the Roughriders (0-3) outscored the Redskins 9-2 to end the quarter as they went 3-of-13 from the field and limited St. Henry to 0-of-11 from the field, with the only points coming via the foul line and just five points in the entire quarter.

After baskets from Drew Jacobs and Sam Young, the Roughriders pulled within three, down 29-26 with 6:34 left to finish a 13-2 run.

But the Redskins scored in four of their next five possessions — nine points in all — while the Riders mustered a single bucket to trail 38-28 with 3:05 remaining in regulation. From there, St. Henry finished the game on a 14-6 advantage as St. Marys turned the ball over three times in its final five possessions of the game.

But finishing at the rim and scoring points remains in issue for the Roughriders and those struggles put them in another hole early on Friday.

St. Marys opened the game by making its first shot — a bucket by Jacobs — but proceeded to miss its next 11 shots — most at point-blank range — as St. Henry went 3-of-8 from the field to take a 10-2 lead.

The Redskins pushed the lead to 12-2 to open the second quarter and finished the first half outscoring St. Marys 17-11 to extend their lead to 24-13 at the half, led by Ryan Luttmer's eight points.