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Flyers get tough in win over Titans, 51-42

St. Joseph’s Jackson Rowe (2) goes airborne as he scores inside against the Portsmouth Notre Dame Titans in a 51-42 Flyers’ win on Tuesday. (Photo By Tim Gearhart)

Jim Walker

Just call the St. Joseph Flyers “The Leathernecks.”
When the going got tough, the Flyers toughened up like leather as they outlasted the Portsmouth Notre Dame Titans 51-42 in a Southern Ohio Conference game on Tuesday.
“That was a tough, physical, hard game. Hopefully it prepared us well for the tournament,” said Flyers’ coach Chris Barnes.
“We had a really good team effort, especially defensively. Our whole team played well. That solidified second place now for two years in a row.”
The win avenged a 56-44 loss to the Titans last week when the Flyers had trouble making any shots.
The Flyers (12-5, 9-4) opened the game with an 11-0 run highlighted by a 3-pointer by Matt Sheridan, a 3-point play by Jackson Rowe and capped by Jimmy Mahlmeister’s basket.
While it appeared as if the Flyers were on the brink of an early blowout, the Titans got layups by Jackson Clark and Dylan Seison to trail 13-4 at the end of the quarter.
The Titans continued to slowly creep back into the game and finally tied the score at 18 on a 3-pointer by Johnathan Strickland. But Rowe drilled his own 3-pointer that put the Flyers up 23-18 at the break.
The game was tied three times in the third quarter until J.C. Damron hit Jared Johnson breaking to the basket for a layup and the Flyers were up 32-30 to end the quarter.
Damron drained a 3-pointer and was fouled. He made the bonus shot that put the Flyers up for good at 36-32.
Notre Dame got within 40-39 on a layup by Carter Campbell, but Damron’s 18-footer ignited an 11-3 run to close out the game.
Damron finished with 20 points and he had 10 rebounds that gave him 500 for his career. He now has 943 career points and four straight double-double games.
“I was happy for J.C. He’s had about four or five great games in a row,” said Barnes.
Jimmy Mahlmeister, Johnson and Rowe all had 8 points while Matt Sheridan hit two clutch 3-pointers in a balanced St. Joseph offense.
Strickland was the only Titan in double figures as he hit five 3-pointers and scored 16 points.
The Flyers will host the winner of the Leesburg Fairfield-Corning Miller in the Division 4 sectional finals at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
Notre Dame 4 14 12 12 = 42
St. Joseph 13 10 9 19 = 51
PORTSMOUTH NOTRE DAME (12-9, 8-6): Carter Campbell 3 0 0-0 6, Jermaine Powell 0 0 2-2 2, Caleb Nichols 2 1 0-2 7, Wyatt Webb 0 0 0-0 0, Dominic Sparks 0 0 0-0 0, Jackson Clark 1 0 0-0 2, Dylan Seison 2 0 3-4 7, Johnathan Strickland 0 5 1-3 16, Ethan Kammer 1 0 0-0 2. Totals: 9 6 6-11 42. Fouls: 16. Fouled out: Campbell.
ST. JOSEPH (12-5, 9-4): Jackson Rowe 1 1 3-3 8, Matt Sheridan 0 2 0-0 6, J.C. Damron 5 2 4-5 20, Jared Johnson 2 0 4-6 8, Michael Mahlmeister 0 0 1-2 1, Jimmy Mahlmeister 1 1 3-4 8, Max Weber 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 9 6 15-20 51. Fouls: 14. Fouled out: None.