Old Fort holds on to beat Calvert

No matter what happened Friday night, Old Fort’s Hunter Perry seemed to have an answer.

The Midland Athletic League’s leading scorer was on fire for most of the night, scoring 35 points, grabbing nine rebounds and helping to stake the Stockaders to a 19-point third quarter lead.

And when the Senecas made a furious fourth quarter rally, taking a brief 61-60 lead on a jumper by Austin Ball with 1:42 left in regulation, Perry responded as you would expect him to.

The senior drove into the paint, throwing in a shot off the glass and drawing a foul.

A free throw later, and the Stockaders had regained the advantage, 63-61.

A minute-and-37 seconds remained, but Perry’s jumper proved the biggest basket in the Stockaders 68-63 win over the Senecas.

“Hunter made a huge play there,” said Old Fort coach Eric Hoover, whose team upped its record to 8-2, 4-0 in the Midland Athletic League. “He got to the basket, drew some contact and got one to fall.”

Calvert (3-6, 2-2) had numerous chances to tie the game. Austin Ball went to the line twice – once with 1:11 remaining, once with 17.4 seconds left – with opportunities to tie the game. But Ball missed all four free throws. When he missed the second set, Mike Bennett grabbed the offensive board, and stuck the ball back up, but it didn’t fall. Perry grabbed the board and was fouled with 10.2 seconds on the clock.

Calvert went 9 for 9 at the stripe in the third quarter, but just 4 of 10 in the fourth.

“That’s the difference in the game,” Willman said.

But Perry split the pair of foul shots, making it 66-63. Calvert still had a chance.

Calvert had four guards on the floor, and Willman said the plan was to penetrate and kick the ball out to one of the players on the perimeter.

Drew Ritzler got a good look from the left wing, but the ball went off the rim to Perry, who was fouled. His two free throws ended the contest.

Willman said the game wasn’t just decided in the final quarter.

“The second quarter killed us,” he said.

In that period, Old Fort scored 26 points, helped by nine Calvert turnovers. With the Senecas struggling against the Stockaders’ pressure, Willman burned a number of timeouts in the first half. Because of that, he was running out by the fourth quarter.

“I’m burning timeouts in the first half, to try to manage the game for them,” he said. “We turned the ball over five times in the first eight possessions of the game I can’t be burning timeouts to keep us in games. Our guys have to be able to take care of the ball.”

Bennett finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Ritzler scored 15. Connor Behm – as crucial as any Seneca in the fourth quarter comeback, scored 14. He had three big shots during the Calvert run.

Old Fort’s Maison Steyer had 16 points, while Hootie Cleveland contributed eight.

“You know coming in it’s a tough place to play,” Hoover said. “I think (Calvert) is improved; there are so many extra factors going into this game. I know everybody’s in the same boat where nobody was able to practice all week due to weather…I guess if you tell me before we come in that we get a .. I don’t care how many point victory than I’d be happy with it.”