In a battle of Northern Lake League unbeaten teams, Perrysburg junior guard Nick Moschetti took matters into his own hands to lead the Yellow Jackets to a road win against rival Maumee on Thursday night.
Moschetti drained five 3-pointers in Perrysburg's 59-46 triumph as the Yellow Jackets improved to 5-1 overall and remained undefeated in the NLL (3-0).
Perrysburg looked to be in a command when it took a 15-point lead late in the third quarter. But the Panthers, who came into the key early NLL matchup undefeated, rallied with an 11-0 run.
But Moschetti drilled a 3-pointer to end the spurt and then knocked down another 3 less than a minute later. Moschetti, who finished with a game-high 18 points, suddenly turned a tight, three-point edge into a 10-point cushion.
“It felt good to hit two in a row there to get our team going again,” Moschetti said. “It helped to get the momentum on our side on their home court with their big home crowd.”
Moschetti said he has not hit a 3 in the second half all year. “I've been working on that,” he said. “This means everything. We just have to keep winning in the league and stay up. This is really big to win on their floor. It's intense.”
Senior guard Shane Edwards, who finished with 16 points, converted on another 3-pointer to complete a crucial 10-2 spurt for the Yellow Jackets.
Perrysburg drained eight 3-pointers overall.
Just after Perrysburg took its biggest lead of the game at 37-22, Maumee responded with a 11-0 run. The Panthers' Jason Wanamaker hit a jumper, then nailed a 3-pointer near the end of the third quarter. Sam Kamer, a 6-foot-5 forward, then grabbed an offensive rebound, and his putback made it 37-33.
“The emotion involved in this game is pretty intense,” Maumee coach Derek Sheridan said. “Our kids weren't hitting the seams the way we had in previous games. We were a step behind. But we got a little more energy there and we hit some shots.”
Dominique King and Wanamaker each had 12 points for Maumee. King hit a 3 pointer to pull his Panthers back within nine points, but Perrysburg held on with four inside buckets.
Perrysburg outscored Maumee 12-4 in the second quarter to take a 28-16 lead into the half. The Panthers committed seven turnovers in the key quarter.
“There was some pressure there and we got some open court baskets,” Perrysburg coach Dave Boyce said. “We try to mix up our defenses. We were able to string together a good series of defensive possessions. But they just keep coming. The second half was a struggle.”
Moschetti had three of his 3-pointers in the first half. But it was his second-half surge that was the difference.
“That is the growth we've been looking for from him, to not just hit them in the beginning but also hit them when the game is on the line,” Boyce said. “He played a really nice all around game.”
Boyce said his team's good ball movement led to good looks inside and out. Edwards had nine of his points in the second half.
The Yellow Jackets had dropped their first game of the season on Saturday to Start.
“It's a road win in the NLL. It's going to be brutal in the NLL this year,” Boyce said. “I think everyone in this league is ready to play every night. They are big and it's not easy to score on them inside.”
Maumee, which was picked to finish second to last in the NLL, had a 24-19 edge on the boards. Kamer had a game-high seven rebounds and eight points.
“We're very pleased. Our kids have kept a level head,” said Sheridan, who starts five seniors. “All in all we are still getting better every day.”
Contact Mark Monroe at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-724-6354 or on Twitter @MonroeBlade.