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Cold-shooting costs St. Joseph in district, 48-31

St. Joseph Flyers’ senior guard Joseph Payton (25) brings the ball up the court against the Fairfield defense. The Flyers lost 48-31 loss to Fairfield Thursday in the Division IV district semifinals at Ohio University. (Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

St. Joseph Flyers’ senior guard Joseph Payton (25) brings the ball up the court against the Fairfield defense. The Flyers lost 48-31 loss to Fairfield Thursday in the Division IV district semifinals at Ohio University. (Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Jim Walker

jim.walker@irontontribune.com

 

ATHENS — The St. Joseph Flyers didn’t mind being center stage; they just did the wrong song and dance.

The Flyers played well defensively again, but 17 turnovers and 29.5 percent shooting proved too much to overcome as they lost 48-31 to the Leesburg Fairfield Lions Thursday in the Division IV semifinals.

“The first time here, the big stage, we did well but we know we left a little bit out there. But we don’t want this to diminish what they accomplished,” said Flyers’ coach Jeremy Williams referring to their first district appearance in seven years.

“We played good defense. 48 points in a high school game, that’s not terrible. Usually, if you ask me before a game that we would give up 48, I’d take it. The few times we’ve lost this year we’ve had that problem. Poor shooting and some turnovers and it got us tonight.”

St. Joseph (13-11) started well. An 8-footer by Joseph Payton and a layup by Chris Lewis gave the Flyers a 4-3 lead at the 4:33 mark of the first quarter.

The Lions (15-8) went up 11-8 on a 3-pointer by Cody Bennett, but Hunter Pemberton answered with his own trifecta and a 15-footer by Wulf Goheen put the Flyers ahead 13-11 at the end of the quarter.

The Flyers were 5-of-11 from the field in the first quarter, but just 8-of-33 the rest of the game.

Fairfield had the advantage in experience. The Lions started five seniors on a team that played in the district last season.

St. Joseph was tied at 18 with 4:45 left in the half on a triple by Goheen, but the Lions went on a 7-0 run to lead 25-18. Troy Scott’s layup with 34 seconds left in the half got the Flyers within 25-20 at the break.

“You could tell they had been here before. Even when we went on a run in the first quarter, they held it together. They still executed. They made shots,” Williams said of the Lions.

“We were anxious. The ball just slipped out of our hands. We’d drive through the lane and (the ball) would get tipped and we’d fumble it and lose it. When you shoot that bad and have 17 turnovers on top of that you don’t have a very good chance of winning.”

Ryan Bates scored six straight points to start the second half as Fairfield extended its lead to 31-20.

Goheen’s steal and layup made it 31-22 at the 5:10 mark, but Bates hit a 17-footer and Bennett’s steal and layup pushed the lead to 35-22.

The Flyers got a baseline runner by Payton and a short jumper in the lane from Scott to end the quarter as they cut the deficit to 37-28.

The fourth quarter proved disastrous. The Flyers were 1-of-8 from the floor and had five turnovers.

Leesburg outscored the Flyers 7-1 to start the fourth quarter and it was 44-29 with 4:53 to play.

Lewis had eight points and four rebounds for the Flyers. Goheen added seven points, five rebounds and five steals.

Bates scored 16 points and Bennett had 10 points for the Lions who play Paint Valley at noon Saturday in the district finals.

Williams said the Flyers were disappointed that their tournament run ended prematurely, but he praised his team, especially seniors Shannon Litton and Payton.

“I’m just so proud of those guys. Those two seniors were just awesome. They stepped up and the kids just followed them. We never had any problems this year. It was one of the funnest years I’ve ever had coaching basketball. It was because of the kids in the locker room. It was nothing I did,” said Williams.

St. Joseph 13 7 8 3 = 31

Fairfield 11 14 12 11 = 48

SAINT JOSEPH (13-11): Wulf Goheen 2 1 0-0 7, Hunter Pemberton 1 1 1-2 6, Chris Lewis 4 0 0-0 8, Troy Scott 2 0 0-0 4, Joseph Payton 2 0 0-0 4, Kyle Williams 1 0 0-0 2, Ben McDonald 0 0 -0 0, Trey Young 0 0 0-0 0, Zac McGraw 0 0 0-0 0, Shannon Litton 0 0 0-0 0, Judge Williams 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 13-44 1-2 31. 3-point goals: 2-11. Rebounds: 11-O, 10-D = 21 (Goheen 5, Lewis 4, Payton 4). Team/deadball rebounds: 3. Assists: 7 (Payton 2, Pemberton 2, Scott 2, Goheen 1). Steals: 14 (Goheen 5, Scott 4, Payton 3). Turnovers: 17. Fouls: 9. Fouled out: None.

LEESBUEG FAIRFIELD (15-8): Cody Bennett 1 2 2-2 10, Blake Hilderbrant 1 2 0-0 8, Ryan Bates 7 0 2-4 16, Gage Montgomery 1 0 0-0 2, Joey Wilson 2 0 2-2 6, Brant Huff 1 0 0-0 2, Seth Case 1 0 0-0 2, Dustin Willey 0 0 0-0 0, Matthew Leach 0 0 0-0 0, Wyatt Crothers 0 0 0-0 0, Klay Walker 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 19-42 6-8 48. 3-point goals: 4-10. Rebounds: 10-O, 21-D = 31 (Wilson 6, Montgomery 5, Hilderbrant 5). Team/deadball rebounds: 6. Assists: 7 (Hilderbrant 2, Montgomery 2). Steals: 11 (Bennett 4, Wilson 3, Hilderbrant 3). Turnovers: 18. Fouls: 6. Fouled out: None.