Irish hot hands lead St. Joe past Wayne
HUNTINGTON — The St. Joe Fighting Irish knocked down a dozen 3-point shots and led from start to finish Tuesday in a 79-67 boys basketball victory against Wayne.
St. Joe (2-10) jumped to a 7-0 lead at the 5:14 mark in the first quarter and Bronson Barker hit three consecutive 3-pointers to give the Irish a 13-6 advantage within the first five minutes. The Pioneers (3-8) had no answer for the Irish’s outside shooting as St. Joe would go on to sink another four long balls before the first half came to a close.
“I thought we came out with a lot more intensity and passion than we had before,” St. Joe Irish head coach Ross Scaggs said. “I’ve told these guys that you have to be ready to play and we come out tentative a lot of the time. Today we came out with a little more effort, made some shots and that got us going.”
Scaggs said he was pleased with his team’s shot selection, particularly that of Barker, who finished with 23 points. Sam Adkins came up big for St. Joe, scoring 10 points in less than four minutes from the end of the third quarter to the start of the fourth period.
Momentum killers in the nature of Adkins’ run were ill-timed for the Pioneers. Head coach Sam Cochenour said he felt as though his team was on the brink of a scoring run, but mental errors prevented the Pioneers from completing the comeback.
“I think sometimes we try and do too much and we turn the ball over when we do that,” Cochenour said. “The hustle is there, but sometimes we run too fast for ourselves and then our guys are not on the same page anymore. When that happens, (St. Joe) picked up the ball and was able to take it the other way and get us on the fast break.”
Hunter Daniels returned to the Wayne lineup after missing significant time because of an ankle injury, and made an immediate impact for the Pioneers who were absent a starter — Jake Merritt — after he picked up a pair of technical fouls in last week’s loss to the Logan Wildcats. Daniels had 15 points, but played limited minutes in the second half.
The Irish return to action Thursday at 7 p.m. when they host Van. Wayne moves on to play its second consecutive road game at Herbert Hoover at 7 p.m. Thursday.
HUNTINGTON ST. JOE 18 27 16 18 — 79: Barker 23, Adkins 23, Bolton 15, Sweeney 8, Hickman 7, Blake 3.
WAYNE 12 16 25 14 — 67: Sansom 17, Daniels 15, Adams 14, Hall 11, Bryant 8, Pomeroy 2.