Bolton, Sweeney key St. Joe’s win
HUNTINGTON — Huntington St. Joe boys basketball snapped a three-game losing skid Friday with a 70-39 home win over the Sherman Tide.
The Fighting Irish and the Tide traded leads twice in the first quarter then once again in the second period before St. Joe took a 12-11 lead and would not trail again. The Fighting Irish used a full-court press to force a Sherman team stocked with underclassmen into 18 turnovers.
Those mistakes allowed Huntington St. Joe (1-3) to get its struggling offense going.
Cory Sweeney, a sophomore, took control of the offense early with a 3-point field goal in the opening period and then added two more field goals in the second period in his 17-point night. The Fighting Irish also had a big contribution from Noah Bolton, who fought for rebounds that translated to second-chance points. Bolton ended the night with 19 points after scoring only six in the first half.
Sherman (0-3) made halftime adjustments to get the ball into the hands of its top scorer, junior Chris Abbott, who fired in 24 points. Abbott had nine points in the first half before the Tide offensive strategy changed to get him the ball more.
Abbott then responded with 11 points in the third quarter and the Tide trimmed a Fighting Irish 13-point halftime lead to just eight points with 4:04 to play in the third period.
Sweeney and Gannell Hickman answered the threat with 3-pointers that rebuilt the St. Joe lead back to 13 with 1:05 to play in the third period.
St. Joe became more aggressive defensively in the fourth quarter when Sherman’s turnovers began to mount. The Fighting Irish went on a 25-6 run in the final period sparked by nine points from Bolton, six from Sam Adkins and eight off the bench from Max Baker.
“We moved the ball a lot more and got more open shots in this game,” Sweeney said. “We put a full effort into this game where as we didn’t really do that in the first three games we played.”
St. Joe’s early losses included a 71-64 loss to Buffalo to start the season and a three-point loss against Belpre at the Fairland Big E Classic. A 29-point loss to Portsmouth remains the only lopsided loss for the Fighting Irish.
SHERMAN 9 8 16 6 — 39: Cline 5, D. Rollo 2, Abbott 24, Busby 8.
HUNTINGTON ST. JOE 10 20 15 25 — 70: Adkins 15, Sweeney 17, Bolton 19, Hickman 9, Baker 8, Blake 2.