Rallying from a halftime deficit on the road, the St. Clair Bulldogs stayed perfect in the Four Rivers Conference boys basketball race Tuesday.
St. Clair (10-10, 4-0) kept Union (4-15, 0-4) winless on the league season with a 64-57 victory.
“The game was close all the way through,” St. Clair Head Coach Casey Korn said. “I am proud of our effort on the offensive end. We executed our game plan, got a lot of good looks inside the lane and took shots in rhythm and within our offense.”
Union Head Coach Chris Simmons said the Wildcats are getting closer to posting their first league win.
“I was proud of how the kids responded to their runs with runs of our own throughout the game,” Simmons said. “Our team defensive was not very good the entire night. We did a pretty good job of executing offensively and we handled their pressure by taking care of the ball getting it to the spots we wanted to. We are still learning how to win which has been a tough lesson for us to learn. Late in games, we have to buckle down and execute, but we tend to push a little bit and get away from doing what we want and need to do instead of letting the opponent dictate.”
St. Clair jumped out to a 20-14 lead after one quarter, but Union rallied in the second quarter, outscoring the Bulldogs by a 17-9 margin to take a 31-29 lead to the intermission.
“Defensively we were lost on some possessions in the first half and we didn’t contest shots we needed to,” Korn said. “They shot above 65 percent in the first half. We were able to adjust at halftime and limit some of their looks.”
St. Clair came back out from the halftime break to outscore Union in the third quarter, 20-13, taking a 49-44 lead. The Bulldogs held on for the victory.
“St. Clair is a good team and they are going to be tough the rest of the season,” Simmons said.
Senior Neyko Dominguez led St. Clair in scoring with 26 points. He went 6-6 at the free-throw line and 2-2 from beyond the three-point arc. He also had seven assists, six rebounds and two steals.
“Neyko hit some nice shots in the first half in rhythm and really controlled our offense,” Korn said.
Senior Adam Brott scored 16 points with eight rebounds and two steals.
“Adam Brott hit the boards hard,” Korn said.
Senior Evan Murphy also reached double digits with 13 points, two rebounds, two steals and one assist.
“Evan Murphy did some great things on offense,” Korn said. “He played under control and aggressive.”
Also for St. Clair, senior Evan Powell scored four points while senior Austin Gotway added three with three assists and a steal. Junior Ben Feddersen netted two points with five rebounds.
Playing, but not scoring, were junior Spencer Crumbaugh, junior Reno Jones and senior Will Rolley (two rebounds and an assist).
Senior Brandon Ford recorded a double-double for Union with 15 points and 11 rebounds. He also had six assists and two blocked shots.
Sophomore Blake Hulsey scored 13 points and added two rebounds.
Sophomore TJ Vitt scored 11 points with four assists and three rebounds.
Senior Ashton Dehn netted eight points.
Junior Brian Borgmann scored six points with six rebounds and three assists.
Sophomore Nick Ziegler concluded with four points, three assists, one blocked shot and one rebound.
“I was proud of them, but the biggest thing is that we must improve defensively,” Simmons said. “Our offense has gotten much better throughout the season because it was so poor early and it has been a focus. We must continue to execute offensively and focus on defensive effort and execution.”