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BOWLING GREEN — From his vantage point on the bench and from a quick post-game glance at the scorer’s sheet, Perrysburg coach Dave Boyce boiled his team’s inefficiency down to one factor: shooting.
Nate Patterson agreed.
So did Nick Moschetti.
Both players struggled to make shots in a 43-29 loss to Mansfield in the Division I boys basketball district final Saturday at the Stroh Center, the Yellow Jackets wilted against a defense that capitalized off transition and forced Perrysburg to make mistakes.
The Tygers (18-7) rendered the Yellow Jackets (21-4) nearly powerless; Perrysburg finished 10 for 44 from the floor and scored only four points in the third quarter, after it trailed by two at the half.
“Sometimes it’s a game of shooting, and we didn’t shoot well tonight,” said Boyce, whose team was 0 for 12 on 3-point attempts. “That’s the tale of the tape.”
Mansfield will face Bowsher at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the University of Toledo’s Savage Arena.
Patterson led the Yellow Jackets with 11 points, but the Tygers held Moschetti to eight.
“They brought the pressure, which really took us out of it,” said Moschetti. “We should have settled down.”
Sparked by Dejorr Gibson, who came off the bench to score a game-high 17 points, Mansfield beat Perrysburg nearly a year to the day after it lost to Anthony Wayne in last year’s Division I district final.
The Yellow Jackets cut Mansfield’s lead to 26-21 at the start of the fourth quarter on Patterson’s two free throws, but it was the closest Perrysburg got in the fourth.
“We thought that we could handle them well,” Patterson said. “We’ve played teams like them, like Springfield, Southview, and Start. We hung with them so we came into this game pretty confident. ... It kind of shocked us a little bit, but it wasn’t enough to get us off our game. The whole game, we kept on coming back.”
Mansfield entered Saturday’s game with a certain focus and with a specific defensive plan for when Perrysburg had possession.
“They do have decent ball handlers but the ball handlers they have, in my opinion, are ball handlers that go to the basket, not so much who sustain the ball,” Mansfield coach J.T. Reese said. “What we we wanted to do was put out the guards and make them sustain the ball and handle the ball and make them handle it in the passing lanes. For the most part, it boded well for us.”
As a result, the Yellow Jackets turned the ball over 16 times and finished with just three assists.
Perrysburg took an 8-3 lead in a first quarter marked by early turnovers. Early in the second, Mansfield capitalized on transition and wiped out 5-point deficit in 75 seconds.
The Tygers stretched a 13-12 lead to 17-13 with a minute left in the half before Moschetti’s free throws in the final minute cut the lead to 17-15. Perrysburg made only one shot in the third and trailed by five at the start of the fourth. Mansfield widened its lead to 13 with less than five minutes left.
“I don’t think we took a lot of shots in the flow of our offense,” Boyce said. “That’s what we’ve been doing all year. We played well in an open court and when we got in trouble, the guys sped up and we never quite got it under control.”