Calvert rallies to end skid vs. New Riegel

New Riegel seemed to play with a fire and intensity, bringing itself out of a hole to take a four-point lead late in Friday’s game at Calvert.

Then, it wasn’t so much that the fire went out, but rather, crossed over to the other bench.

After two Tim Ink foul shots gave New Riegel a 43-39 lead with 1:32 to go, Calvert found that same fire and intensity to battle back, force overtime and claim a 51-48 victory.

That ended a five-game Blue Jackets winning streak over the Senecas.

“We’re all pretty excited, all jacked up,” Calvert’s Austin Perry said. “We came out there battling. We haven’t beat them for a few years now, and that was a real nice win. We came out with the intensity right off the bat. Our foul shots were a big key tonight.”

Drew Ritzler scored a game-high 17 on the night, but no points were bigger than the two that came off an offensive rebound and putback, breaking a tie game with 1:52 left in the extra session.

After the game, Ritzler struggled to put his emotions into words.

“That was an awesome win. Gosh, I’m not even sure; it’s hard for me to say,” he said. “That was awesome. The emotions, and the place. That was the most fans I think we’d had all year, both sides. Both crowds were into it. Whole place was rocking. It was awesome.”

Perry finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds. He scored eight in the first quarter off three offensive rebounds to help Calvert build a 16-5 lead at the first stop.

The Senecas maintained the advantage all the way until New Riegel rallied in the fourth.

“Obviously our slow start hurt us,” New Riegel coach David Losey said. “It’s hard to get down 11 points in a tough environment like that. But I thought the kids fought really hard to get back in. They clawed their way back to a four-point lead late. Just really didn’t make enough plays there down the stretch.”

New Riegel kept chipping away but still trailed by eight late in the third quarter. A 3-pointer from Jake Dryfuse closed the gap to five, 36-31, going into the fourth quarter.

Baskets from Dryfuse and Ink got the Blue Jackets close and Aaron Acree finally put his team ahead with a basket at the 5:53 mark.

Calvert coach Ted Willman said his team went away from playing its own game for a time in the second half.

“I thought we did a good job early finding the extra man and we knocked shots down,” he said of how his team built its lead. “Then part way through the third when they kind of made their run, we started taking shots they wanted us to take instead of taking shots that we wanted to take. It took us a little while to regain our composure.

“It was kind of a game of runs early. For us early, them in the third, then it came down to the chess match down the stretch of who was going to execute at both ends, … who was going to make the play. And it could be a play that needed to be at the offensive end knocking foul shots, or who was going to make the play at the defensive end off a miss and grabbing the defensive rebound to make sure they didn’t get a second shot.”

Shortly after grabbing the lead, baskets from Dryfuse and Michael Kirian bumped its edge to four with a little over four minutes to play. Calvert meanwhile was struggling to get anything to fall and New Riegel began to work some clock.

The Blue Jackets took nearly two minutes off the clock on one possession, but the possession ended without even a shot. Instead, a Calvert steal turned into a Ritzler layup.

New Riegel didn’t attempt one shot from the field the final four minutes of regulation.

The Blue Jackets’ fire was out while Calvert’s was just getting lit and the Senecas were starting to cook.

“Coaches kept us going,” Perry said. “They kept telling us we got this we got this. They really kept pushing us to keep going and driving us to the boards. I’d say that was probably the biggest reason why we came back, ’cause they were really pushing us and our intensity kept going. And like I said, we haven’t beat them in a couple years so we just wanted that win real bad.”

Ink’s two free throws pushed the lead back to four, but Mike Bennett countered with a turnaround jumper in the lane to bring it back down to two.

After a missed New Riegel foul shot, Calvert drew even on a Perry basket with 45.2 seconds to play.

“We’ve had some like this early on that we let slip away,” Willman said. “Hopefully we’re kind of growing up a little bit. I told the guys that I’ve seen some of the adjustments that we made and guys adjusting to our adjustments at both ends of the floor and executing. It’s good to see down the stretch that we executed some things offensively and defensively not all the time, but more consistently than we have the first half of the season.”

Calvert jumped out early in the overtime, but New Riegel drew even on Ink’s 3-pointer with 2:13 to play.

Calvert again took a three-point lead, but Acree gave his team a chance to tie by getting fouled while converting a layup. His foul shot, though, fell off the mark and Austin Ball pulled down the rebound for Calvert.

“I thought our guys did a better job than we have been of being mindful of, it’s one thing to box out, it’s another thing to box out and then go get the ball,” Willman said. “I think our guys went and did that tonight. Not every possession, but we’ve done it for a longer period of time than we have been.”

Dryfuse finished with 13 points and 15 rebounds for New Riegel (7-11, 5-3). Kirian finished with eight points and 10 rebounds while Ink (12) and Acree (10) also scored in double figures.

“We had a lot of guys that played really well,” Losey said. “I thought Jake played well, I thought Aaron obviously hit some big shots and he’s been working his butt off so that’s nice to see. He’s working extra hours on his shot every day, a lot of guys are. It’s nice to see him hit some shots get some confidence. Hopefully that carries over. Mike Kirian had a big game as well there, had some big blocks and big rebounds for us.”

Bennett added 10 points and eight rebounds for Calvert, who improves to 7-11, 5-4. Ritzler, though, said part of the win was due to the fans, helping bring the team back.

“If that crowd’s not there cheering as loud as they are, and the whole place is dead, it’s hard to get us pumped up. When you’re out there, you’re knocking a few shots down, crowd’s into it, they’re yelling, everyone gets into it, it makes it fun.”