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Malone, Pirates Too Much For Vikings; Perry stomps Waterloo 85-44

Atwater, OH - What started as a highly contested, high energy affair took a turn after the first 8 minutes. The final 32 minutes belonged to the team from Lake County.

With a date with Waynesdale awaiting the winner, both teams traded buckets for the first quarter of play, with Waterloo being paced by Senior Kaii Warren with 11 points, with three 3 pointers in the opening frame. The Pirates were led by Senior Brayden Richards with 8. The scoreboard read 19-15 in favor of the home team.

As the teams broke their huddles to start the 2nd quarter, it felt like everyone in attendance was in store for a back and forth nail biter that only a tournament competition can provide. However, it didn't take Coach Al Iacofano's squad long to change that narrative. The Pirates attacked early and often in the 2nd quarter, using their length and speed to lead to transition baskets and cause the Vikings to get out of their game plan and try to match their high volume output. The closing moments of the half were reminiscent of a boxing match with the wounded fighter trying to make it to the bell but the fighter who has his opponent on the ropes getting one last gut punch in before they head to their corners.

In this case, that gut punch came off the left hand of Junior Guard Derreon Malone in the form of a corner 3 as the final seconds ticked away. The shot capped a 22-3 quarter that saw the Pirates take a lead they would never relinquish.

The Vikings came out of halftime with a bit of a run, but never were able to close the gap to shouting distance. Malone, only slowed temporarily by a bloody nose that caused him to retreat to the bench for treatment, followed up his buzzer beating heroics from the 1st half with an 11 point quarter, that again ended with a buzzer beating 3 pointer.

The 4th quarter was rather uneventful for both sides, as the lead had ballooned north of 20 points by the end of the 3rd, and a running clock soon followed. Coach Iacofano emptied his bench rather early in the frame to give some of his young cager's a taste of OHSAA tournament basketball, while the Vikings were faced with the cold reality that the tournament brings, where one bad night is all it takes for a season to reach it's final destination.

Point Leaders

Perry Panthers

Derreon Malone 26

Brayden Richards 22 Vince Tomasic 16

Walter Moses 8

Waterloo Vikings

Kaii Warren 18

Jackson Eichler 10

Gage Hawley 9

Drew Flarida 7


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