NEW FRANKLIN: The style points were lacking, but winning a conference road game at Manchester is seldom a thing of beauty.
Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy overcame foul problems, a halftime deficit and an exotic defense against its star player to earn a 53-49 victory in a rugged PAC-7 game Friday night in the cozy confines of the Panthers’ gym.
The Royals’ Bob Peters managed a game-high 18 points despite the extra attention. He was also hampered with fouls, as was CVCA’s other top threat, 6-foot-5 Caleb Kleibscheidel, and both fouled out in the game’s final minute with the issue still in doubt.
Thanks to some effective bench play, and just enough free throws at the end — CVCA (6-2, 4-1) joined Manchester (8-3, 4-1) in a tie at the top of the league standings.
“They did a good job of keeping Bob locked up with the box-and-one and we needed other guys to step up,” CVCA coach Jay Peters said. “It was a tough game, as it is every time we come here. It’s a tough place to play. Manchester’s extremely well-coached and we’re feeling pretty fortunate to get out with the victory tonight.”
The free-throw line was key. CVCA made 27-of-36, including 11-of-16 in the fourth quarter, when Manchester kept making big shots to stay in the game. The Panthers could never quite catch up, though.
A wild, running 3-point shot by Manchester’s Bryan Daily cut the CVCA lead to 50-47 with 23 seconds left. Two free throws by Marty Lee put the Royals back ahead by five. After a missed shot went out of bounds, Austin Klein stole an inbounds pass under the Manchester basket and laid it in to make it 52-49 with two seconds left.
An intentional foul then sent CVCA’s Antonio Carroscia to the line and he made 1-of-2 to clinch it.
The free-throw line was not so kind to Manchester, as Panthers’ coach Gene Schindewolf pointed out.
“I’m pleased with the effort,” Schindewolf said. “I thought we gave a very good effort that we haven’t seen in about four games. But you need to make more than 15-of-25 [actually 26] from the foul line.”
Klein, a 6-foot junior, scored 10 for Manchester, as did 5-8 senior Chad Robertson who made three 3-pointers in the first half.
CVCA jumped to a 13-6 first-quarter lead, capped by a 4-point play by Bob Peters. But Manchester outscored the Royals 17-8 in the second quarter for a 23-21 halftime lead. The Panthers made 4-of-5 from 3-point range in the second quarter, 6-of-7 in the half.
CVCA did not make a field goal in the second quarter but made 8-of-10 from the line.
Jay Peters switched his team from zone to pressing, man-to-man defense to start the second half, forcing seven turnovers in the third quarter and holding the Panthers to six points.
“I think we were playing more at their pace,” said Bob Peters, a 6-2 senior and the coach’s son. “We wanted to get out and speed the game up and hopefully force some turnovers, which we did. We buckled down and played some good halfcourt, man-to-man defense.”
CVCA scored the first eight points of the quarter. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Peters and Lee put the Royals ahead 38-28 with 25 second left in the third.
The Panthers scored the next eight points to cut it to two but CVCA managed to stay on top, barely.
Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps.