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Big second half sparks Flashes to fifth straight win

By JOSH MORGRET • Jan 18, 2019 at 11:11 PM

PORT CLINTON — Every coach wants consistency out of their ball club.

Willard scored exactly 18 points in each quarter Friday night.

The third quarter defense from the Flashes proved to be vital, as Willard topped Port Clinton, 72-55, in Sandusky Bay Conference Bay division action.

"When we get out in transition, we are a little bit better," Willard coach Joe Bedingfield said. "Sometimes we were not able to do that tonight. They were switching a bit at the beginning and speeding us up. We were a little impatient at times."

The Flashes (10-3, 5-2) shut down the Redskins (1-12, 0-8) for almost four minutes in the third quarter, scoring 14 straight points to take a 50-29 lead.

"We stuck in our 1-3-1 zone," Bedingfield said. "I thought we were able to get in the lanes. They hit some shots in the first half. In the second half, we were able to hold them more to one shot. We got a little better contest on their shots."

The Flashes topped Port Clinton, 74-35, back on Dec. 14 in Willard.

"We did compete a bit better tonight," PC coach Von Graffin said. "We are not out for moral victories, but we played hard. Tonight, we competed."

Willard led, 36-27, at halftime, but Lucas Kyle opened the third quarter scoring with a bucket for Port Clinton to cut the lead back to seven points, but the Flashes took over from there.

Myles Pinkston scored off of an offensive rebound before Cooper Parrott hit a jumper. Terry Baldridge connected on a pair of free throws before consecutive buckets from Brevon Polachek.

After a timeout from Port Clinton, Parrott scored again. The Redskins ended the run when Dylan Simpson made a pair of free throws. Davon Triplett scored down low for the Flashes before Sammy Diaz hit a 3 for the Redskins, ending a run of 12 straight missed shots for Port Clinton.

"They have got some nice players," Graffin said. "They have some young, nice players. Triplett is a man physically and Parrott is one of the top players in the league, right up there with (Vermilion's Mason) Montgomery and (Oak Harbor's) Jac Alexander."

The Redskins got the start they wanted in the form of back-to-back scores from Simpson in the first 41 seconds of the game. The Flashes scored the next seven points, taking the lead that they would never reliniquish.

Later, Willard led 16-10, but 3s from Zayne Manning and Hunter Nolen tied the game. But, Polachek scored with 28 seconds left in the quarter to put the Flashes ahead, 18-16, after eight minutes.

"Von does a great job with his kids," Bedingfield said. "They play extremely hard for him, no matter what their record is. That is a sign of a coach that is doing a great job."

In the second quarter, Baldridge scored off a steal and Polachek converted a three-point play off of a steal for a 23-16 lead just 35 seconds into the quarter. The Redskins bounced back and cut the lead to 25-22 when Kyle hit a triple, but Willard ran off the next seven points and later took their lead into halftime when Polachek hit a mid-range jumper.

"We played a real nice first half," Graffin said. "We were coming off a game where we scored 25 points. We scored 27 points in the first half tonight."

Parrott led all scorers with 21 points. Triplett added 16 points and eight rebounds while Polachek tallied 15 points. Baldridge hauled in seven rebounds for the Flashes, who had just 12 turnovers.

"We definitely talk about balanced scoring," Bedingfield said. "It really helps when the opponent can not just key in on one guy. We were able to move the ball and get others involved."

Kyle paced the Redskins with 14 points while Simpson contributed 10 points and nine rebounds. Port Clinton made 10 of 22 3-pointers.

"We were surprised by it a bit," Bedingfield said. "You have to take some things away. They are a physical team and they are strong. They set good screens. We were willing to give up some 3s."


WILLARD (10-3, 5-2)

Brevon Polachek 7-1—15, Terry Baldridge 2-2—7, Myles Pinkston 2-3—7, Davon Triplett 6-4—16, Cooper Parrott 8-4—21, Micah Dawson 0-2—2, Joey Holida 1-0—2, Trey Paxton 1-0—2. TOTALS 27-6—72.

PORT CLINTON (1-12, 0-8)

Gavin Preston 1 0—3, Sammy Diaz 4-0—12, Dylan Simpson 4-2—10, Zayne Manning 2-0—6, Hunter Nolen 2-1—6, Lucas Kyle 5-2—14, Cooper Stine 1-0—2, Elliot Auxter 1-0—2. TOTALS 20-5—55.

Willard     18 18 18 18 — 72

P. Clinton 16 11 10 18 — 55

3-piont FGs: (W) Baldridge, Parrott; (PC) Diaz 4, Manning 2, Kyle 2, Preston, Nolen

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