ST. ELMO – Brownstown made the Hornets work for it, but Cowden-Herrick on Saturday still came away with a victory in the third-place game of the St. Elmo Holiday Tournament.
The Bombers had one bad quarter – the third – during which Cowden-Herrick outscored them, 17-6, but overall, coach Vince Rohr said that he couldn’t complain about how his squad played during a 61-51 loss.
“We’ve always talked about the first three minutes of the third quarter being an important stretch of the game,” Rohr said. “I thought we were a little bit sluggish there, but overall, we played hard and ran our plays well.”
In those three minutes, the Bombers were outscored 8-0 and committed two turnovers. Cowden-Herrick’s run would eventually get to 13-0 before junior Matt Sefton made a layup with 3:24 left in the period.
At halftime, the Bombers had led 26-25 after coming back from an early deficit on a 3-pointer by sophomore Eric Gurtner in the middle of the first quarter.
The late comeback came because all-tournament selection Jalen Hovis was on the bench with foul trouble for an extended portion of the fourth quarter.
Down by 15 after the Hornets made a 3-pointer 23 seconds into the fourth period and a layup 34 seconds later, the Bombers began picking off a few points over the next several minutes.
With 3:06 left in the game, senior Colten Hunter scored a layup that sparked a 9-3 run to put the Bombers behind by just nine with 48 seconds left in the game.
“That’s what we talk about,” Rohr said. “Jalen Hovis is a good ball player, and when he got into foul trouble, we talked about how we had to pressure, and our guys did a good job of it.”
Cowden-Herrick committed four turnovers in the final 3:45 of the game.
Hovis was also limited offensively, as Sefton used tight defense to hold Hovis to single-digit scoring.
Sefton, meanwhile, nearly had a double-double, with a team-high 13 points and nine rebounds. Austin Hunter also had 13 points, and Colten Hunter also grabbed nine boards.
“Matt’s been struggling a little bit this year,” Rohr said. “He played well tonight, and he did a great job defensively guarding Hovis.”
At 5-7, the Bombers have matched last season’s win total, but Rohr said he did expect to be closer to .500 by this point in the season.
But, that may come for the Bombers toward the beginning of January.
“I’d say we are a little bit behind where I thought we’d be,” Rohr said. “We have a little stretch here where there are a couple of winnable games.”
Saturday, Dec. 17
at St. Elmo Tourney
Points: A. Hunter, 13; Sefton, 13; Gurtner, 10; C. Hunter, 10; Jacob Behrends, 4; Nick Reeder, 1.
Rebounds: C. Hunter, 9; Sefton, 9; Team, 7; A. Hunter, 6; Behrends, 2; Gurtner, 2; Reeder, 1; Shane Sefton, 1.
Steals: A. Hunter, 4; Sefton, 4; Behrends, 1; Gurtner, 1; C. Hunter, 1.
Blocks: C. Hunter, 2; A. Hunter, 1; Sefton, 1.