The Cedarville Yellow Jackets controlled nearly every facet of the game in their 80-68 win over the Maryville Saints on Saturday night. With the win, the Jackets improve to 1-1 to finish the Cedarville-hosted Don Callan Classic.
Cedarville took the lead with 5:29 seconds in the first half, and never looked back from there.
“The key for us was the end of the first half,” Cedarville head coach Pat Estepp said. “Last night we didn’t score in the last four minutes of the first half, and tonight that’s when we made our run.”
Off the bench, junior guard Patrick Bain dropped 14 points. The Tipp City, Ohio native shot an uncanny 7-9 from the field, and added five rebounds.
Bain said the stars aligned for him tonight, but anyone could lead the team in any given game.
“We’re so deep that it’s not going to be one person’s night every night,” Bain said. “I think that’s what’s special about us.”
Starting guard Dazhonetae Bennett also scored 14 points in the win. Bennett shot 7-14 from the field, and also added six rebounds.
Cedarville outrebounded the Saints 39-29, and also had 17 assists compared to Maryville’s 10.
“Last night we only had seven assists,” Estepp said. “Tonight, we did a much better job of getting each other shots.”
At times, Maryville was suffocated by Cedarville’s run-and-jump full court press. The Jackets forced seven of their 17 turnovers from their press, and caused four loose balls from the press as well.
Although Maryville led by as many as eight points in the first half, Cedarville took control of the game late in the first half. With 5:49 left in the first, Maryville’s eight-point lead was cut to one, causing a timeout by the Saints.
The Jackets went on to score eight unanswered, and led 31-24 with 3:15 left.
Two offensive rebounds by Cedarville led to a bucket on the third shot of the sequence by sophomore forward Robert Okoro, and the Jackets took a 34-26 lead into halftime.
Cedarville slowly managed to distance itself from Maryville as the second half went on.
Bennett threw down an authoritative slam of an alley oop to start the second half, and the Jackets were energized from there.
With 14:23 remaining, sophomore forward Joey Morlan nailed a deep three, extending the Yellow Jacket lead to 11.
After trading buckets for a few minutes, Morlan swished yet another deep triple, giving Cedarville a 61-47 lead with 8:44 left.
Maryville chopped the lead to eight with a triple of their own. With 4:51 remaining, the Jackets led 70-62.
After trading more baskets, the Jackets led 76-67 with 2:00 remaining, and Maryville called a timeout.
Out of the timeout, the Jackets melted the clock by nearly 30 seconds. A missed shot by Cedarville was followed by a rebound by the Jackets, and they proceeded to take 30 more seconds off the clock.
Senior forward Easton Brazzoli converted a two-point field goal to end the sequence, and the Jackets shrugged off any chances of a Maryville comeback as they led 78-67.
Cedarville iced the game from there to notch its first win of the season.
The Jackets will be off until Thursday, as they’ll host the Walsh Cavaliers at Cedarville. Walsh toppled Cedarville 71-63 last year in a non-conference game.
Tim Miller is a freshman journalism student at Cedarville University. Tim loves anything that has to do with sports, and hopes to write about sports for a career after graduating from Cedarville.