Second Half Dooms Riders

St. Marys’ Braeden Dunlap drives to the basket in the first half of a non-league boys basketball game against Coldwater on Friday.
Sports Editor

 St. Marys coach Craig Szymczak told it how it was on Friday.

"When things got tough there, I thought, composure-wise, we didn't do a very good job of handling that," the coach said. "When you are on the road, especially against a MAC school, things are going to get tough and how you handle that is a testament to your team. We are in situations where we can hang with teams and beat these teams, but if we keep doing those little things there, this is going to be a result."

Scoring just 17 points in the second half with the halftime score 30-28, Coldwater, entering the third quarter, the Roughriders lost their composure — most notably when Braeden Dunlap was called for a technical when disagreeing with a call — and body language was questionable as St. Marys mustered just two buckets in the fourth quarter and outscored 31-17 in the second half to fall 61-45 in a non-conference game on Friday.

"When you have a program that is traditionally not used to winning, it is hard to get over that hump," Szymczak said. "We went to not being in a lot of games, to being competitive and now we are being competitive in a lot of our games, but we get in that moment when it gets really hard, we still haven't found that way to win games.

"And when we do, we will be a very scary team. We believe in the kids, but they need to believe in themselves."

Trailing 30-28 heading into the second half, the Roughriders hung with the Cavaliers after weathering through two 3-pointers to trail 36-33 with 5:44 remaining, but three straight offensive turnovers led to a bucket from Ben Wenning and a free throw as part of the technical Dunlap was called for, put the Cavaliers ahead 38-33 with 4:48 remaining. St. Marys stayed with Coldwater the rest of the way, but attempted four 3-pointers in the third quarter, making just one of them, as the Roughriders ran into a number of one-and-done possessions — while the Cavaliers had six 3-pointers at that point. St. Marys recorded one offensive rebound and just three overall in the quarter.

Coldwater was able to extend its lead slightly to 48-40 at the end of the third quarter, but ran away with the game in the fourth by opening the final stanza on a 7-0 run in the first 3:36 to lead 55-40. Ethan Steger's 3-pointer and Dunlap's bucket were the lone connections from the court for St. Marys.

Dunlap led the Roughriders with 15 points, followed by 11 points from both Steger and Jack Cisco. 

St. Marys had solid ball movement in the first half and attacked the basket often with Steger as the centerpiece and Dunlap getting good looks as the Roughriders scored on five of six possessions at one point in the opening quarter to lead 14-11. St. Marys scored seven straight points to lead 26-23 with 2:08 left in the first half before Coldwater ended the first half with a 7-2 advantage on a 3-pointer by Cole Frilling and buckets by Noah Miller and Justin Schwieterman to lead 30-28 at the half.