Perry hits milestone in OF rout

OLD FORT – Hunter Perry scored his 1,000th career point Friday night.

Outside of that, there was little that Old Fort coach Eric Hoover was real happy about after his team drilled Seneca East, 77-45.

“He’s worked so hard on his offensive game. He has such great offensive skills to go along with his quickness and his improved strength,” Hoover said.

Perry had an all-around special night with 23 points, nine rebounds and eight steals for the Stockaders (5-1, 3-0 Midland Athletic League). Maison Steyer was right behind him with 19 points, seven boards and three steals.

While those were nice numbers, Hoover was frustrated with a lot of other aspects of Old Fort’s game.

“Really after the first quarter, we didn’t do much. We got out of control on offense. We got lazy on defense,” Hoover said. “We were kind of selfish on offense; we weren’t moving the ball like we did to get the lead. We were giving up too many easy shots. I’m not as happy as I should be with a win.”

The Stockaders came out with the pedal to the floor, utilizing 10 Seneca East turnovers on their way to a 23-5 lead after the first quarter.

“We did a good job early of forcing turnovers and getting easy ones and building that big lead early which was what I was hoping to do, so I was pretty happy about that,” Hoover said.

Seneca East coach Joe Nowak said his young team took a little while to get going.

“It was nerves and we’re young so the first quarter is going to be a little rocky for us,” Nowak said. “That and playing against a team like Old Fort that can jump on you early like that makes it tough to come back from.”

After that abysmal first, Seneca East (0-7, 0-3) stayed with the Stockaders until halftime, 44-26. But things went back the way of the Stockaders in the second half as Old Fort outscored its opposition, 33-19.

Old Fort owned the glass, 41-29, with 12 offensive rebounds, and forced 25 turnovers. The Stockaders held the Tigers to 14 for 44 shooting while shooting 31 for 64 themselves.

“I don’t know that we let off the gas. We just weren’t getting the good shots we were before,” Hoover said. “We were making one pass and chucking up the first pass we could get off instead of making three, four, five passes and getting a better shot that we have a much better chance of making. We had so many fast breaks that we didn’t get anything out of.”

One of the bright spots was Steyer’s offensive efforts, where he scored 13 of his 19 points in the first quarter.

“He had a great first half for us offensively,” Hoover said. “There’s going to be openings in the defense because Hunter is going to draw so much attention, as he should. And Maison did a good job of taking advantage of it and finishing in and around the basket in the first half.”

Three Seneca East players reached double figures: Jack Daniel (15), Adam Hall (14) and Ethan Caudill (12). Hall and Caudill led the team in rebounding as well with six and five caroms, respectively.

Nowak felt quite differently about his team’s effort than his counterpart.

“The guys played hard. That’s the hardest we’ve played and the best we’ve played all year so far,” Nowak said. “The scoreboard doesn’t necessarily show, but effort-wise and teamwork-wise, that’s the best we’ve seen on the year so far.”