“We shot the ball well,” said Ross coach David Lane, whose name is on the leader board for the most steals in a game. He was standing right across the wall from it as he talked. “David DeSalvo Perez played a complete game.”
Perez finished with 21 points, second on the team behind Reid’s 24.
The Rams, the defending SWOC champions, went into the game second in the SWOC with a 35.3 3-point field-goal percentage, but Friday’s loss was their fifth straight after opening the season 4-0. They slipped to 1-2 in the conference going into a non-league game on Saturday at East Central in Indiana.
Edgewood, which has never won a SWOC championship, improved to 5-4 overall and 3-0 in the league going into a game on Tuesday at Mount Healthy. The Cougars were able to shake off a 55-54 non-conference overtime loss on Tuesday at Badin, even though the 6-foot-4 Allen – a first-team all-conference pick last season who went into the ranked among the SWOC’s top five in scoring, rebounding, blocks and steals – was limited to 11 points. He was averaging 21.5 going into the game.
“This is a great feeling,” Yauger said. “We love it, but none of us are becoming complacent. Our goal is to win the SWOC. That’s our plan.”
The Ross defense focused on Allen, holding him to two points in the first half.
“They were faceguarding him and pushing him around” Osterman said. “We didn’t get many calls.”
Osterman adjusted by having Allen bring the ball upcourt in the second half, giving him more opportunities. The strategy eventually paid off.
“We chipped away and chipped away and chipped away,” Osterman said.
Lane leaned away from blaming inexperience, even though the Rams have just four seniors on their roster after losing five all-conference picks from last year’s championship team. He did admit that his team was a big shorthanded with one player ill and another injured.
“I hate to use the term inexperienced,” he said. “We didn’t make enough plays at the right time. We have to learn how to execute down the stretch.”