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Weary Flyers need team effort to beat Western, 54-45

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

St. Joseph Flyers’ coach Chris Barnes needed to buy a couple of cases of 5-Hour Energy drink for his team on Saturday.
Playing their third game in as many days including an afternoon contest after a night game, the weary-legged Flyers summoned all their remaining energy to beat the Western Indians 54-45 in a Southern Ohio Conference game on Saturday.
“That was a great team effort. We were worn out so that was a big gut check for us,” said Barnes.
“We’re 2-1 after almost three weeks off so that’s impressive. I’m proud of everyone. But it just gets tough. We’ve just got to keep battling and trying to get better and get back in shape.”
A somewhat fresh Flyers’ team took an 18-8 first quarter lead thanks to a 3-pointer at the buzzer by Matthew Sheridan.
The Flyers built a 28-17 lead late in the second quarter when Michael Mahlmeister sank a pair of foul shots. But a layup by Gavin Myers had Western down 28-19 at the break.
St. Joseph grabbed its biggest lead of the game at 34-21 on a trifecta by Jimmy Mahlmeister with 5:54 to play in the third quarter, but a 15-footer by Myers and back-to-back layups by Colton Montgomery cut the deficit to 36-32 midway through the quarter.
The Flyers got a foul shot from J.D. Damron and two clutch free throws from Sheridan with 26 seconds on the clock and it was 39-32.
Western kept coming and got within 41-38 on a layup by Noah Whitt when Jimmy Mahlmeister fell on the floor hurt and the Indians found themselves with a 5-on-4 situation.
But Jared Johnson hit a backdoor layup off a nice pass from Michael Mahlmeister with 52 seconds to go and it was 48-42.
Jackson Rowe then came up with a steal and a layup for a 50-42 lead with 39 seconds left.
Reed Brewster hit a 24-foot 3-pointer to make it 50-45, but Western was forced to foul and Damron went 4-for-6 over the final 19 seconds including a pair with 4.5 seconds left to secure the win.
Damron scored 18 points to lead the Flyers with Rowe added 10 points, Johnson 9 and Sheridan 8.
Western (5-9, 4-5) was paced by Montgomery with 16 points and Whitt had 11.
The Flyers host Portsmouth Notre Dame on Wednesday and East on Friday before going to New Boston next Saturday.
Western 8 11 13 13 = 45
St. Joseph 18 10 11 15 = 54
WESTERN (5-9, 4-5): Reed Brewster 0 1 0-0 3, Kolten Miller 2 0 2-2 6, Dalton Risner 0 0 0-0 0, Colton Montgomery 8 0 0-0 16, Sean Kerns 1 0 0-0 2, Noah Whitt 5 0 1-2 11, Riley Beekman 1 0 2-4 4, Gavin Myers 1 0 1-2 3. Totals: 18 1 6-10 45. Fouls: 21. Fouled out: None.
ST. JOSEPH (9-4, 6-3): Jackson Rowe 1 2 2-2 10, Matt Sheridan 1 1 3-4 8, J.C. Damron 5 0 8-12 18, Jared Johnson 3 1 0-0 9, Michael Mahlmeister 0 0 2-2 2, Jimmy Mahlmeister 0 1 2-5 5, Max Weber 1 0 0-1 2, Drew Brown 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 11 5 12-26 54. Fouls: 12. Fouled out: None.