by Jim Manion | Correspondent
Ravenna -- Four consecutive three-pointers in the final three and a half minutes sealed a tight Portage Trail Conference County Division game for the Streetsboro boys basketball team Dec. 10.
The Rockets (3-0, 2-0) cashed in with a 45-42 win in the final minute over the Southeast Pirates in Ravenna.
Leading by two points entering the final stanza, then falling behind by four points at the midway point of the quarter, Paul Jenkins and Avery VanReeth both stepped behind the arc and hit four straight threes for the deciding points despite a valiant effort by the Pirates, who battled back and had a chance to pull it out with only 16 seconds left on the clock.
"Southeast really plays hard," said Streetsboro head coach Nick Marcini. "Matt [Dillon] always has them prepared and we were outplayed. They [the Pirates] work you for 32 minutes every night and Jordan Krych is a player."
Krych led the Pirates with 19 points, while also grabbing 11 of Southeast's 18 rebounds. A strong defensive effort by different Rockets' players applying a tight man on Krych held him to only six points in the second half.
Jenkins led the Streetsboro offensive effort with 17 points and also grabbed seven rebounds, while Jerry Judd tossed in 12 and also pulled down seven rebounds.
Jenkins opened the game with a pair of buckets for the Rockets, but he also picked up two quick personal fouls and had to take a seat with only two minutes off the clock.
Southeast (1-3, 0-2) scored nine straight points with Krych scoring seven of them and the Pirates went up 9-4 with 3:19 left in the quarter.
Krych went on to tally 13 of the Pirates' 20 first-half points and also pulled down eight of their 10 rebounds in the first 16 minutes.
Southeast held a 20-15 advantage with less than a minute to play in the first half, but Devin Rencher hit a three-pointer with 20 seconds remaining then went coast-to-coast for a layup as the buzzer sounded to lock the score at 20-20. Rencher finished the game with eight points.
The Pirates jumped out to a 26-23 lead in the third quarter. But Jenkins hit a pair of buckets in the paint and Judd scored on a putback at the two-minute mark, then scored a fast-break basket off a Jenkins' outlet pass. His score gave the Rockets a 31-26 edge, but Kenny Dillon fired up a turnaround three for the Pirates from the corner as the buzzer sounded for a 31-29 score after three quarters.
Lucas Bloom hit a pair of jumpers, then Dillon hit another bucket to push the Southeast lead back up to 35-31 when the Rockets turned the ball over twice.
Marcini called a time-out with 4:06 remaining in the contest. The first play after the time-out was a three by VanReeth from deep behind the arc at the top of the key, trimming the deficit to 35-34. Kade Norquest countered for Southeast immediately with his only three of the night to push the Pirates lead back to four.
The next trip down the floor, Jenkins drilled a three at the three-minute mark, then fired up another three-pointer following a Southeast miss. Krych then hit a two from just inside the arc to tie the score at 40-40 with 1:33 left on the clock.
VanReeth followed with another three for Streetsboro for a 43-40 advantage with 1:15 remaining. Southeast's Corey Proctor then hit a two to cut the lead to only one point. The Rockets missed a shot with 27 seconds left and Southeast called a time-out with 16 seconds to go and the ball at its end of the court.
VanReeth stepped in the passing lane and picked off the Pirate inbounds pass and got the ball to Judd, who scored the final bucket of the contest. The Rockets made just 6 of 13 foul shots. Southeast made 9 of 10 from the free throw line.
Streetsboro had a 24-18 advantage on the glass. The Rockets also committed 14 turnovers. The Pirates finished with just five miscues.