Special to the Journal Argus
Home-court jitters plagued St. Marys DCVI Senior boys basketball team as they lost their Huron-Perth home opener to Goderich DCI, 46-32.
On Tuesday, Dec. 2, Salukis kicked off their season at home against their single ‘A’ rivals, the Goderich Vikings.
Brock Jeffrey, a second-year veteran of the team, got things started in a big way for the Salukis, picking off an errant Goderich pass and laying in the first basket of the game. On the next rush, Jeffrey continued his good play, drawing a foul and converting on both shots from the free-throw line.
But after the strong start, the ‘Lukes struggled to keep a scrappy Vikings team at bay.
“We did a poor job of breaking GDCI’s full-court pressure,” St. Marys coach Ian Moore said.
By the end of the first quarter, Vikings had pulled to within one point, trailing the DCVI squad by a score of 10-9.
Exciting back-and-forth play saw Salukis edge ahead as half-time drew near. Then, a miraculous three-point buzzer-beater by first-year team member Sam Thorup put the home side up 22-18 going into the break.
St. Marys came out a little flat in the second half and this allowed the visitors to capitalize on a few mental mistakes and they held a one-point lead at the end of the third quarter.
“The number of turnovers was the toughest thing for me to watch,” noted coach Moore.
The lack of momentum continued for the Salukis through the final eight minutes.
“We made a lot of bad passes in the offensive zone,” Moore said. “This led to a lot of GDCI points.”
The game ended with a final score of 46-32 in favour of the Vikings.
Thorup finished with 16 points for St. Marys, with Jeffrey adding eight. Mitch Clarke had a game-high 19 points for Goderich.
When asked about the rest of the year, Moore said, “As we move forward in the season, our goal is to play better as a team, executing the offence and defence we practice.
“We need to make our opponents earn every point. And we need to be patient, ensuring we take the most effective shot.”
In the Junior boys home opener last Wednesday, Salukis dropped a 31-30 decision in triple overtime to the Vikings.
Mitch Wolf had 12 points for St. Marys, and Logan Baer 10 for Goderich.
Upcoming: Salukis are back in league action today (Wednesday, Dec. 10) at Stratford Central. They travel to Stratford St. Mikes on Monday, Dec. 15.