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Morning Sun
  • Colgan beats Seneca on 3 with 1.8 seconds left

  • The defensive strategies for the St. Mary’s Colgan Panthers and the Seneca Indians seemed obvious Tuesday night.



    For Colgan, it was contain Seneca senior guard Kyler Ng and for Seneca, it was contain Colgan senior forward Dyson Dechant.

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  • The defensive strategies for the St. Mary’s Colgan Panthers and the Seneca Indians seemed obvious Tuesday night.
    For Colgan, it was contain Seneca senior guard Kyler Ng and for Seneca, it was contain Colgan senior forward Dyson Dechant.
    “The one thing that we really wanted to do with him (Ng) was contain him and try and limit his opportunities to get to the basket,” Colgan head coach Wayne Cichon said. “They do some awfully nice things with him to get him free so that he can take it to the basket. Take our chances with the 3-point shot or the perimeter jumper. Fortunately, he only hit one (3) for the night.
    “I think teams are going to do that (key on Dechant) and Dyson was real patient for the most part. He didn’t force very many shots and found some people, a big play was when he found Tieler Commons under the basket when he drove baseline. That was a huge play in the game. It got us back to almost even and it gave the kids some really good confidence. Dyson’s handling the pressure very well and the other kids around him are starting to figure out when we can get him the ball and when we need to do things on our own. When we get to that point, hopefully very soon, I think we’ll be a very good team.”
    Ng scored 11 of his game-high 17 points in the first half, as Seneca used his offensive production and benefited from 12 Colgan turnovers to build a 23-14 halftime advantage. However, seemingly no opposing lead ever proves safe when the Colgan boys are playing at the Fieldhouse.
    “We had a weak offensive effort, particularly in the first half,” Cichon said. “I thought second half we played a lot better on the offensive end and got more kids involved in the action. I thought we had a good defensive game all long. The fourth quarter was pretty good, solid defense. We gave up 23 points at half and then gave up 42 for the game. You have to be pleased with an effort like that because they’re a team capable of scoring, I think they’re averaging 55-60 points a game. It wasn’t a slow down game by any means, we were all trying to score as often as we could. I think both teams played good defense and made the other team look silly at times.”
    Colgan had one more chance late after Seneca missed a pair of free throws with 17.2 seconds left, down 42-40. The Panthers swung the ball to senior guard V.J. Piccini near the top of the key and he found a wide-open Austin Commons spotting up for 3 on his left. Piccini hit Commons in stride, Commons stepped into form and hit nothing but the bottom of the net with 1.8 ticks remaining.
    Page 2 of 2 - “We did exactly what we had done the whole game right there,” Cichon said. “I don’t think there was any surprise. We pushed the ball and then swung it around the horn. We had a cutter going to the basket and Austin was open for the 3. He made a big shot. I’m proud of him. I’m sure he’s pretty happy right now and the whole team’s happy because we got away with a win.”
    After the referees put time back on the clock, the Indians had enough time for a desperation heave and Ng’s halfcourt shot rimmed out at the buzzer.
    Dechant led Colgan with 11 points and Austin Commons added 10, all scored after halftime. Luke Marquardt added six and nine Panthers reached the scoring column.
    Colgan ends the December portion of its schedule 4-1.
    Seneca girls 42, Colgan 38
    Both teams had glaring weaknesses Tuesday night: Seneca missed 15 free throws (16-31) and Colgan made 28 turnovers, including 11 in the fourth quarter. Missed free throws beat turnovers.
    The Indians outscored the Panthers 17-9 in the fourth, taking advantage of Colgan miscues and entering the double bonus at the 3:27 mark. Seneca attempted 18 free throws alone the final 3:27 and went from behind 34-33 to ahead 42-38.
    Molli Cooper proved most effective at the line for Seneca, making 9-12 en route to 14 points. Bailey Skelton added 14 points and four rebounds.
    Nichole Kolarik led Colgan with 13 points and six rebounds, and her sister Katie Kolarik added six points and 13 rebounds before fouling out late in the game. Colgan outrebounded Seneca 37-27.
    Colgan drops to 3-2.

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