Article: Monster Second Quarter, Clutch Free Throws help Padua defeat Holy Name
You know what Yogi Berra used to say: "It ain't over till it's over."
The Bruins of Padua had started off slow, but were able to build up a 42-25 advantage over rival Holy Name after three quarters, much thanks to a huge second quarter by Senior Tyler Ptacek and some outstanding defense.
But the Green Wave was not finished yet. The visitors stormed back to cut the Bruin lead to 49-47 with 22.8 seconds left, bringing the game down to free throws.
Padua was just 7-18 as a team from the stripe up until this point, but it didn't show. Ptacek sank two from the line with 20.6 seconds left to increase the lead to 51-47, but Green Wave Sophomore Lawrynce Johnson was fouled on a three point attempt, giving him three tries at the line.
Johnson made just one of three, and Ptacek was able to sink two more with 7.4 seconds left as the Bruins closed out an exciting win over their rivals, 53-50.
"I had to cancel everything out," said Ptacek, whose only points in the 4th were those free throws. "That's probably the 3rd or 4th time I've been in that situation, and I've learned from it. I just had to keep my mind clear."
The Bruins had a lackluster start, as they trailed Holy Name, 14-8 after eight minutes of play. But it was Ptacek kicked things into gear in the second, scoring 14 of his 25 points in the second frame while Padua as a team outscored the Namers, 20-4, en route to a 28-18 halftime lead.
"It was all my teammates," said Ptacek, a UNC-Wilmington recruit. "They started hitting shots, and [Holy Name] realized we weren't going through me the whole time. It opened me up. They started playing off and weren't faceguarding me as much."
The momentum carried over into the 3rd, as the Bruins opened on a 6-0 run backed by two steals and layups by Junior Danny Paulitzky.
"You look at offensively, our movement with purpose," said Padua Head Coach Jake Lantz. "Guys setting screens for each other and ball movement going from one side to the other, inside and back out. That's when we play our best basketball.
"We've had quarters where we've dumped in 16, 18 points and then we've had some where we dump in 4. You can tell the style of play changes when we score 4 to when we score 18."
Ptacek added seven more points in the 3rd, and the Namers were held to just seven points on three field goals. Much of that was thanks to the inside presence of Senior Chris Link.
"I just didn't want to give up points," said Link, who grabbed six of his thirteen rebounds in the 3rd alone. "Just do what I can to help out the team on defense and try to play as good defensively as I can. I just did whatever I had to to get the victory."
Ptacek led all scorers with 25 points, and Paulitzky was also in double figures with 11.
Johnson led the Green Wave with 20 points. Senior Brian Spencer added ten points and eleven rebounds for the double-double.
The Bruins improve to 4-6 on the year, and win their second game in as many days.
"I'm proud of them," said Lantz, in his first year as Head Coach at Padua. "In the last two games, we have not played well offensively. Defensively, we're averaging 46, 48 points a game and that's why we're at where we are right now, because we've started to play defense.
"Our offense is still a work in progress. I told them, it's a testimony of a sound team when you don't play your best basketball and you still win games."
Next up for Padua is a road trip to Mentor to take on the Cougars of Lake Catholic next Friday January 10th. Tip-off at 7:30pm.