NORTH BALTIMORE - Somehow, the idea was to promote spirit when the North Baltimore student section went into a pre-planned hush mode until their Tigers scored their 10th point of the game against Calvert here Friday night.
Little did they know, their act would take on a Christmas hymnal theme - Silent Night.
Calvert limited the Tigers to 11 first-half points and built a 16-point lead late in the third quarter but limped to the finish while holding off a late NB charge to post a 45-40 Midland Athletic League win.
Calvert’s Austin Ball drives for a layup over North Baltimore’s Brandon Solly.
The Senecas, late starters because of an extended football season, are 2-0 with both victories coming in league play. North Baltimore falls to 2-4 overall and 1-2 in the MAL.
"It was ugly. I know it was ugly," Calvert coach Ted Willman said. "Defensively, we did some good things and offensively, we had problems. It was our second game, it was on the road and, hey, we got the win.
"I think once we get into more of a routine, things will pick up for us," he said. "We had a bit of a wait after our first game. The good thing is, we have another game (tonight, at Fostoria). I think that's what we need."
Calvert's defensive effort drew 10 turnovers from the Tigers in the first quarter. That might have been a huge plus had the Senecas not been guilty of nine miscues of their own.
Still, North Baltimore went more than three minutes before getting a couple scores, then went more than five minutes before scoring again.
And so the student section sat silently while the Senecas built leads of 13-4 and 15-8. It wasn't until Tyler Trumbull's post move, with 1:25 left in the half, that the Tigers first heard a roar in their favor.
Calvert led 17-11 at the break. North Baltimore had six fewer points than turnovers at the time.
"Our shooting percentage was really poor," interim head coach John Kloepfer said. Jon Eichar, out since the start of the year due to hip surgery, was on the sideline for the first time, but in a limited role.
"We missed a lot of layups in the first half and our foul shooting wasn't what it has been," Kloepfer said. "But I think you have to give Tiffin Calvert credit. They came at us with a tough man-to-man and a lot of the time, we couldn't get open. It wasn't just our offense; it was also their defense."
Calvert picked up the pace in the third period and pushed the margin to 32-16 behind the scoring of Austin Ball, Mike Bennett and Austin Perry.
Ball had seven of his 15 points in a four-minute span. Bennett, who led the Senecas with 17 points and 10 rebounds, had four in the spurt and Perry had a couple putbacks. He finished with six points and nine boards.
But they couldn't put the Tigers away.
"When we were up 32-16, we couldn't get a couple stops that might have given us a change to push the lead to 20," Willman said. "Instead, we missed some foul shots and they hit a couple baskets and came back on us."
The Senecas hit just three of their first 10 from the line, but managed 10 of 15 in the final 4:41 to keep just enough of an edge.
Calvert needed that to offset its nine fourth-quarter turnovers - 27 for the night.
Lane Bishop led the Tigers with 11 points and Jacob Frost added 10 points and 10 rebounds. Drew Ritzler was the only other scorer for Calvert with seven.