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Flyers can’t maintain start in loss to HSJ

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

Just when the St. Joseph Flyers were shifting into high gear, their fuel pump went out.
The Flyers first quarter was fueled with excitement, momentum and adrenalin. It gave them a stunning 11-point lead over the heavily-favored Huntington St. Joseph Irish.
But once the first quarter ended, so did that adrenalin rush as the Flyers suffered their worst shooting performance of the season in a 68-56 loss to the Irish in the title game of the St. Joseph Holiday Tournament on Saturday.
“I could tell at the end of the first quarter that we were gassed. We put everything into that start and just had an emotional and physical collapse,” said Flyers’ coach Chris Barnes.
St. Joseph (9-1) was 8-of-17 from the field in the first quarter including 6-of-12 from behind the 3-point arc. But the Flyers finished the game 20-of-52 and just 8-of-27 from the arc including 0-for-11 the second half.
“We had open looks. They were shots we get all the time but we were just out of gas,” said Barnes.
The Flyers scored 11 straight points to begin the game with Ryan Payne hitting back-to-back trifectas and Jimmy Mahlmeister nailing a third for the 11-0 lead.
The Irish (6-0) got a layup by Jaylen Motley with 4:13 left in the first quarter for their first basket and Caden Warne followed with a 3-pointer.
But Zach Roach answered with a trey of his own and the Flyers were up 14-5.
Roach hit another 3-pointer and Jackson Rowe excited the crowd with a 3-pointer at the buzzer for a 22-11 lead.
But the Irish forced six turnovers and came back to tie the game at 30 on a layup by Warner with 3:12 left in the half.
The Irish took their first lead at 32-31 on Christian Layne’s layup but a 3-pointer by Payne tied the game at 34.
Warner’s layup with just three seconds on the clock gave the Irish a 36-34 lead at the break and they never trailed.
The Flyers were 4-of-12 from the field in the third quarter and fell behind 53-45. Two foul shots by Layne opened up a 58-45 lead with 6:28 to play.
The Flyers could get no closer than 10 points the rest of the game when J.C. Damron’s layup with 2:25 left made it 62-52 and a layup by Roach had the score at 64-54.
Roach scored 15 points to lead the Flyers. Damron got 12 points and 11 rebounds, Payne 10 points and Mahlmeister grabbed 9 rebounds.
Warner had 25 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals for the Irish. Motley added 16 points and Hickman 10 rebounds.
The Flyers play at SOC favorite New Boston on Friday.
Hunt. St. Joe 11 25 17 15 = 68
St. Joseph 22 12 11 11 = 56
HUNTINGTON ST. JOSEPH (6-0): Caden Warner 8 2 3-5 25, Jaylen Motley 2 2 6-6 16, Gunnell Hickman 3 0 0-0 6, Christian Layne 2 0 3-5 7, Mekhi Barlow 1 0 0-0 2, Kaden Ehirem 1 0 2-2 4, Jayden Price 1 2 0-0 8, Max Baker 0 0 0-0 0, Zhou Yinah 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 24-60 14-18 68. 3-pt goals: 6-28. Rebounds: 12-O, 24-D = 36 (Warner 11, Hickman 10). Assists: 5 (Warner 3). Steals: 11 (Layne 3, Warner 3). Turnovers: 14. Fouls: 17. Fouled out: None.
ST. JOSEPH (9-1): Zach Roach 4 2 1-3 15, Matt Sheridan 0 0 0-0 0, Ryan Payne 0 3 1-2 10, J.C. Damron 4 0 4-5 12, Jimmy Mahlmeister 1 1 1-2 6, Jared Johnson 1 0 1-2 3, Andrew White 0 0 0-0 0, Max Weber 0 0 0-0 0, Michael Mahlmeister 0 0 0-0 0, Isaiah Rowe 0 0 0-0 0, Jacob Salisbury 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 20-52 8-13 56. 3-pt goals: 8-27. Rebounds: 10-O, 24-D = 34 (Damron 11, J. Mahlmeister 9, Johnson 4). Assists: 7 (Sheridan 2, Payne 2). Steals: 2. Turnovers: 17. Fouls: 18. Fouled out: None.