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Cold-shooting Flyers fall to Titans, 56-44


St. Joseph Flyers’ J.C. Damron hits a jump shot over two Portsmouth Notre Dame defenders as he scored two of his 24 points on Wednesday. (Photo By Tim Gearhart)

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

PORTSMOUTH — It’s been that kind of a season.
Between COVID protocol and bad weather, the basketball season has had more stops and starts than a traffic light. And what that has meant for area teams is no practice and games for extended periods.
The St. Joseph Flyers found themselves in that situation for the second time in the past few weeks and it showed as they shot just 33 percent in a 56-44 Southern Ohio Conference loss to the Portsmouth Notre Dame Titans on Wednesday.
“Basically, other than J.C. (Damron), we didn’t make a shot. Our best 3-point shooter didn’t even score,” said Flyers coach Chris Barnes whose team was just 18-of-54 from the field including 5-of-20 from behind the arc.
“But we haven’t been able to practice the last three games an we’ve had no games for almost 12 days and it shows in our offensive performance. Defensively, we were good up and we were up after three quarters. But, at some point you have to make a shot.”
The Flyers held the Titans to just 29 points over three quarters before they hit four 3-pointers and went 9-of-11 at the foul line in the fourth quarter as they scored 27 points.
Damron had a game-high 24 points and 7 rebounds to pace the Flyers (9-5, 6-4). Jimmy Mahlmeister had 7 points, Matt Sheridan 6 and Jared Johnson grabbed 10 rebounds.
Notre Dame (11-8, 6-5) had three players in double figures led by Johnathan Strickland with 15. Carter Campbell and Caleb Nichols scored 11 each.
Damron scored 9 points including a 3-pointer and Sheridan also hit a trey as St. Joseph took a 14-13 first quarter lead. Ethan Kammer had a 3-pointer and scored 5 points for the Titans.
Mahlmeister hit a trifecta and Damron scored 3 points as the Flyers were up 22-20 at the break. r hit a triple and went 2-of-2 at the foul line for 5 points in the quarter.
Damron scored 8 of the Flyers’ 10 points in the third quarter and the lead was 32-29. Dylan Seison had a 3-pointer as he and Carter Campbell combined for 7 points.
But in the fourth quarter, the Titans found their offense as Nichols and Strickland each hit a pair of 3-pointers. Campbell was 3-of-4 at the line, Strickland and Gary Zhenj 2-of-2 and Jermaine Powell 3-of-4.
The Titans made 14-of-21 free throws while the Flyers were 3-of-5, all by Damron.
Barnes shook his head when reflecting on the Titans getting 29 points over three quarter and 27 in the fourth.
“Matt Sheridan helped control the game but he wasn’t himself. Jimmy (Mahlmeister) did a good job defensively on their best scorer even though he hit a couple of 3s late when we had to go zone,” said Barnes.
“It was just a weird game. This felt more like a practice or scrimmage than a game and, let’s face it, Notre Dame is pretty good, especially at home. We’re not going to make excuses. They played well. You have to play the cards you’re dealt. Right now, we just need to play some games and give it our best.”
The Flyers host Symmes Valley Friday weather permitting. If not, the game moves to Monday. They are to play host to East at noon on Saturday.
St. Joseph 14 8 10 12 = 44
Notre Dame 13 7 9 27 = 56
ST. JOSEPH (9-5, 6-4): Jackson Rowe 0 0 0-0 0, Will Whaley 0 0 0-0 0, Matt Sheridan 0 2 0-0 6, J.C. Damron 9 1 3-5 24, Jared Johnson 0 1 0-0 3, Michael Mahlmeister 0 1 0-0 3, Jimmy Mahlmeister 2 1 0-0 7, Max Weber 1 0 0-0 2, Jacob Salisbury 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 18-54 3-5 44. 3-pt goals: 5-20. Rebounds: 25 (Johnson 10, Damron 7). Turnovers: 8. Fouls: 17. Fouled out: None.
PORTSMOUTH NOTRE DAME (11-8, 6-5): Carter Campbell 3 0 5-10 11, Jermaine Powell 2 0 2-3 6, Caleb Nichols 1 3 0-0 11, Wyatt Webb 0 0 0-0 0, Dominic Sparks 1 0 0-0 2, Gary Zhenj 0 0 2-2 2, Jackson Clark 0 0 0-0 0, Dylan Seison 0 1 1-2 4, Johnathan Strickland 1 3 4-4 15, Ethan Kammer 1 1 0-0 5. Totals: 9 8 14-21 56. Rebounds: 29. Turnovers: 15. Fouls: 8. Fouled out: None.