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Flyers open with rout of Clay, 55-25

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

PORTSMOUTH — Now, what is this game and what are we supposed to do?
In what might have seemed like an eternity, the St. Joseph Flyers finally got to open their basketball season on Friday and they beat the Portsmouth Clay Panthers 55-25 in a Southern Ohio Conference game.
“Overall, it was a good first game, especially after being shut down two or three times and not getting any practice. And this was Clay’s fifth game so they had a little better idea of what they need to do,” said Flyers’ coach Chris Barnes.
The Flyers had eight players in the scoring column led by J.C. Damron with 15 points and 7 rebounds and Jimmy Mahlmeister with 13 points. Jackson Rowe hit a pair of 3-pointers and scored 8 points.
Shaden Malone and Gavin Cayton had 8 points each for Clay (0-5, 0-2).
“Jimmy held their best player to two field goals and just eight points. On top of that, he scored 13 points,” said Barnes. “J.C. does what J.C. does. He had a big game overall and Jackson Rowe played great ‘D’ and hit some big shots, and Matt (Sheridan) ran the show.
Barnes said Jacob Salisbury also turned in a strong game.
“Jacob did things that don’t show up in the boxscore,” said Barnes. “I can’t say enough of the effort Jacob Salisbury put in all week and it showed tonight. He played well and he got a couple of key baskets for us,” said Barnes.
Damron scored 7 points and Mahlmeister 4 in the first quarter as St. Joseph went on top 15-6.
Rowe gave the Flyers’ offense some spark with a pair of trifectas in the second quarter and Damron scored 6 more points and the lead was 29-14 at the break.
The Flyers’ defense limited the Panthers to just 3 points in the third quarter and cousins Jimmy and Michael Mahlmeister combined for all 9 of St. Joseph’s points to extend the lead to 38-17.
Max Weber, Salisbury and Jimmy Mahlmeister scored 4 points each in the fourth quarter as the Flyers blew the game open.
The Flyers are scheduled to host Gallipolis at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday but the Blue Devils have currently put a halt on athletics. The next game is 1:15 p.m. next Saturday at home against Portsmouth West.
St. Joseph 15 14 9 17 = 55
Ports. Clay 6 8 3 8 = 25
ST. JOSEPH (1-0, 1-0): Jackson Rowe 1 2 0-0 8, Will Whaley 0 0 0-0 0, Matthew Sheridan 2 0 0-1 4, J.C. Damron 7 0 1-1 15, Jared Johnson 0 0 1-2 1, Michael Mahlmeister 3 0 0-0 6, Jimmy Mahlmeister 51 0-0 13, Mqx Weber 2 0 0-0 4, Jacob Salisbury 2 0-0 4, Zach Johnson 0 0 0-0 0, Drew Brown 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 22 3 2-4 55. Fouls: 12. Fouled out: None.
PORTSMOUTH CLAY (0-5, 0-2): Clay Cottle 2 0 1-3 5, Shaden Malone 1 1 3-6 8, Gavin Cayton 3 0 2-2 8, Cullen Payne 0 0 0-0 0, James Jones 0 0 0-0 0, Kenny Fowler 1 0 0-0 2, Evan Balestra 0 0 0-0 0, Jaden Jesse 1 0 0-0 2. Totals: 8 1 6-11 25. Fouls: 7. Fouled out: None.