Defense, free throws lift Vermilion Sailors to comeback win over Bay Rockets

VERMILION — The success Vermilion was looking for in the fourth quarter finally happened.

The host Sailors erased a 10-point halftime deficit with a stout defensive effort in the third quarter and outstanding free throw shooting down the stretch en route to a 67-61 West Shore Conference win Friday.

“They slowed down a little bit,” Vermilion coach Kurt Habermehl said. “The kids did a great job of listening and concentrating on what we were telling them ... then executing it.”

Trailing 37-27 at the end of the first half, the stout defense came in the form of Vermilion (9-8, 3-7) using its half-court trap to slow down Bay’s (7-10, 3-7) offense. While the defense was holding the Rockets to six third-quarter points, its offense was energized by the effort.

Junior Forrest Boyd (15 points) and Kyle Nader sparked the Sailors. Nader hit his second three of the quarter to give them a 43-40 lead. After the Rockets tied it with a pair of free throws, Boyd capped off his six-point quarter with a jumper in the lane.

“It was partially a wake-up call and partially us coming together as a team,” Vermilion senior guard Anthony Rini said. “We weren’t being successful going one-on-one defensively or offensively.”

After taking the lead early in the fourth quarter on a Rini three, the Sailors were able to build a 53-49 lead after a Boyd layup. They were able to maintain the lead thanks to incredible free throw shooting.

After Rini missed a free throw early in the quarter, the Sailors hit their last 15 in a row. Bay made it interesting with Chris Kazanas hitting a three to slice the deficit in half with less than a minute remaining in regulation.

With Bay forced to foul, the Sailors continued to find the mark at the free-throw line to seal the win. For the game, they were 24 of 27 (89 percent) from the line.

“It came down to concentrating when we were taking free throws,” Rini said, who led Vermilion with 19 points — including nine free throws in the fourth quarter. “Free throws are 90 percent mental. At the line, we slowed ourselves down which allowed us to find success in the fourth quarter.”

The third quarter has been tough on the Rockets the past couple of games with this one being no exception.

“The third quarter has been our nemesis the past four games,” Bay coach Jason Frolo said. “We played well in the first half. We knew the first four minutes were going to be crucial in either being able to hold them off or extend the lead. Vermilion took it to us.

“We took a lot of positives out of this game. They didn’t quit and battled the whole way.”

Using great ball movement and showing unselfishness, Bay shot the ball incredibly well in the first quarter. After trailing 12-10 with about three minutes remaining in the first quarter, the Rockets closed out the quarter with a 10-2 run. They were 9 of 14 from the field.

Continuing with the momentum they garnered in the first quarter, the Rockets continued to keep Vermilion off-balance. They eventually held a 31-19 lead after a three-point play by Chase. Ben Chase led all scorers with 20 points.

Scott Rapps, who spent most of the second quarter on the bench due to foul trouble, finished with 14 points.

Taking advantage of being in the bonus, the Sailors closed the deficit down to 35-27 after a pair of Zach Myracle free throws. Bay responded with a basket and held the 10-point lead at the half.

Vermilion travels to Lakewood next Tuesday while Bay hosts Mdiview.

ermilion 67, Bay 61

West Shore Conference

BAY — Ben Chase 9-1 20, Scott Rapps 7-0 14, Ryan Voiers 3-0 8, Griffin Thompson 1-0 2, Danny Heideloff 2-0 5, Sam Strauss 1-0 2, Craig Linder 1-2 4, Chris Kazanas 2-0 6. TOTALS 26-3 61.

VERMILION — Anthony Rini 4-9 19, Forrest Boyd 7-1 15, Kyle Nader 3-2 11, Austin Kazmer 1-0 2, Cameron Kuhn 2-8 12, Seth Konrad 1-0 2, John Austin 1-0 2, Zach Myracle. TOTALS 20 14 54.

3-POINT GOALS — B: Voiers (2), Chase, Heideloff, Kazanas (2); V: Rini (2), Nader (3)

Score By Quarters

Bay (1-0) 20 17 6 18 — 61

Vermilion (0-1) 14 13 18 12 — 67

Team Statistics

Field Goals — Bay 26 of 54 (58 percent), Vermilion 19 of 46 (41 percent).

Free Throws — B 3 of 8 (38 percent), V 24 of 27 (89 percent).

Rebounds — B 26, V 31.

Turnovers — B 14, V 11.

J.V. — Bay, 55-37.

@MJournalSports

Last Updated: 2/1/2013 11:48:29 PM EST

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