While area attention was focused on the 66th Annual St. Francis Borgia Pepsi Thanksgiving Tournament, the New Haven boys basketball Shamrocks were busy picking up their first win of the season in Belle.
Aaron Peirick’s squad won, 58-42.
New Haven took a 10-9 lead after one quarter and the teams were tied at the half, 19-19. After three quarters, New Haven led 33-32 before opening the gap in the fourth quarter.
“In the first half, we didn’t play as strong and as tough as we should have,” Peirick said. “We didn’t finish several opportunities around the rim, and we didn’t rebound the ball very well at all, which resulted in several second chance points for Belle.”
Ethan Groner led the Shamrocks in scoring with 17 points and added nine rebounds.
“Ethan Groner did a nice job offensively for us to keep us afloat in that first half,” Peirick said.
Peirick said New Haven fell behind early in the second half, but fought back to take the lead.
“We were able to dig ourselves out by getting some stops, some layups, and some big shots by Jay Eichelberger and John Liggett,” Peirick said. “After Belle made sure Ethan wasn’t going to hurt them anymore, Jay stepped up and made sure we weren’t going to lose, he had several buckets in a row, including a huge three pointer off of a great Joseph Rethemeyer kick out and a nice strong drive to the rim.”
Eichelberger ended with 13 points and seven rebounds in the game.
Liggett also ended with 13 points with eight of them coming at the free-throw line in the final quarter. He was 8-10 from the stripe in the final quarter alone.
“John Liggett came off the bench and made several dynamic plays for us, and was nails at the free-throw line to close the game out,” Peirick said.
Trent Kormeier netted seven points with eight rebounds, five on the offensive end. Luke Gerlemann added eight rebounds.
“Trent Kormeier played a heck of a game,” Peirick said. “His all-out effort is irreplaceable. Luke Gerlemann rebounded the ball very well for us too.”
Others performed roles necessary to give the Shamrocks the win.
“Martin Lewis did a nice job running the show and making good decisions as our point guard,” Peirick said. “Christian Paterson and Dominic Lewis gave us valuable minutes off the bench as well.”
While Peirick said New Haven didn’t play the best defensive game, he said the team came up with big plays.
“Defensively, we were not as good as we should have been,” Peirick said. “We did not handle dribble drive very well. Jay Eichelberger shut down their best player for the last quarter and a half. That was a bright spot.
“Luke Gerlemann and John Liggett had a couple steals each and those were big,” Peirick continued. “We owned the boards in the second half, I don’t think we gave up an offensive rebound in the second half after giving up seven or eight in the first half.”
Peirick said everything came together late in the game and that’s what led to the win.
“We just played tougher, rebounded the ball, and finished off offensive possessions better in the second half,” Peirick said. “That’s a credit to our kids. They did what they had to do to win on the road. It’s always good to get that first win.”
The Shamrocks next play in the Montgomery County Tournament. New Haven is the sixth seed and opens against Clopton Tuesday.