MOUNT VERNON — It was a slow and methodical surgery the Ashland Arrows used Friday to dismantle Mount Vernon.
The Arrows hit 10 three-pointers and used a stifling defense to pull away from the Yellow Jackets and pick up the 65-44 victory in an Ohio Capital Conference boys basketball game at The Hive.
“They are a very difficult team to guard with the offensive skill level they have. And when they’re making 10 threes in the game, they’re very difficult to guard,” said Mount Vernon coach Nick Coon. “Some of those were our fault and some of them they just knocked down the shot. If we’re giving up that many points, it’s tough for us to keep up.”
Despite giving up 22 points in the first quarter, the Yellow Jackets (6-9 overall, 3-5 OCC) were still in the game as halftime neared, thanks to some good defense in the second quarter.
But, after milking off quite a bit of clock, Ashland’s Garrett Denbow hit a 3-pointer with time nearly out to put the Arrows (9-5, 6-2) up nine at intermission. A 3 for 10 half at the free-throw line kept the Jackets from making it even closer.
“We’re not a great free-throw shooting team, especially in the first half tonight. If we hit more of them, we have a different mindset and it’s tighter at half,” Coon said. “I thought we played really well defensively in the second quarter until that three. He (Denbow) used his height and got off a good shot. Give him credit.”
The Arrows hit a quick three to open the third quarter, then slowly and methodically took the air out of the Jackets’ hopes by hitting four 3-pointers and stretching the lead to the 20s.
Noah Gleason led the Yellow Jackets with 14 points. Connor Fisher added 10 on three triples, while Spencer Bills had six points, Blake Meyer had five and Jaxon Snyder four.
“I thought we did some good things in stretches tonight and that’s kind of been the summary of our season — we play well in stretches. That’s not enough at the varsity level. We’ve got to be more consistent every possession, every day in practice,” Coon said.
Ashland was led by Mitchell Heilman, who scored 18 points. Denbow added 17, Kleighan Randleman had 12 and Sam Zickefoose 11.
Mount Vernon had no problems in the JV contest, beating the Arrows, 72-29.
Beau Bridges led the Yellow Jackets with 18 points, while Dayne Burgess added 11.
The Jackets will travel to Delaware for a game with the Pacers Tuesday.
“We’ve got to come in tomorrow and get to work on things. We need to have a good mindset to beat a really good Delaware team on Tuesday,” Coon said. “They are a tough, physical team. We’ll have to be ready to go, starting tomorrow.”