By ANDY WOLF
FOR THE COURIER
FOSTORIA — Like the flip of a switch, North Baltimore saw its 11-point lead erased to a 42-42 deadlock with just 3 minutes to play against Fostoria St. Wendelin.
But junior Derek McMahan came through with the final three field goals to propel Tigers to a 50-42 Midland Athletic League victory.
“In the past, we would’ve just folded and said North Baltimore isn’t supposed to win this game,” North Baltimore coach Jon Eichar said after his team improved to 7-8 overall and 2-4 in the MAL. “We told them to keep their composure and things worked out for us tonight.”
The Mohawks (5-8, 1-5) opened the final quarter with 10 points in the first two minutes, trimming the margin to 36-35, capped by a second-chance 3-pointer from senior Steven Murray.
Senior Jacob Frost answered with his fourth 3-pointer on the night for the Tigers, pushing the lead back up to four points.
“You have to be a leader and make sure the team plays smart to come out with a win,” Frost said.
Frost scored nine of his game-high 16 points in the first half while also making four steals.
“It’s a good momentum start, starting on a good note. From there you try to put them away and give them no hope at all,” Frost said.
But for most of the fourth quarter, the Mohawks had hope.
After senior Brady Rutter matched Frost’s 3-pointer, fellow senior Gabe Walters followed with a pair of free throws and a strong baseline drive, each of which tied the game at the time.
Walters had 11 of his 13 points in the second half to lead St. Wendelin while also recording three steals and two blocks.
But Walters saw a potential game-tying shot roll off the rim with 2:20 remaining and the Mohawks failed to score in the final three minutes.
“For some reason we stopped doing what we’d been doing and got out of whack with it,” St. Wendelin coach Jim Rutter said. “We’ve got to learn to hang with it and keep doing what’s been effective. We weren’t as patient in the half court … It’s all part of learning.”
The Mohawks got off to a slow start offensively, trailing 11-4 after one quarter, and finished shooting 53 percent (14 of 26) for the game despite converting just 1 of 16 from beyond the arc.
“We weren’t taking the ball to the basket. Once we attacked the rim in the second half, things got better,” Rutter said.
“We got confident enough to get a few shots to fall, but didn’t get enough to win the game.”
Nick Root chipped in 12 points and four assists for St. Wendelin, while Peter Campbell had 10 points and five rebounds.
Lane Bishop had 13 points and two steals, going 3-for-4 from beyond the arc as North Baltimore shot 37 percent (11-of-29) from the field.
McMahan played just eight minutes off the bench but nailed all four of his field goals to score eight points.
“We’ve asked Lane to shoot the ball all year. He hit his first shot and that helped him,” said Eichar.
“McMahan has come along very well as a big body inside that doesn’t mind contact.”
NORTH BALTIMORE (7-8, 2-4 MAL)
Frost 6-0–16, Bishop 4-2–13, McMahan 4-0–8, Trumbull 2-2–6, Watson 1-2–4, Wright 1-1–3, Newcomer 0-0–0, De Los Reyes 0-0–0, Nichols 0-0–0. TOTALS: 18-46 7-16 — 50.
ST. WENDELIN (5-8, 1-5 MAL)
Walters 4-5–13, Root 4-4–12, Campbell 5-0–10, Rutter 1-2–5, Murray 1-0–2, Scudder 0-0–0, Frankart 0-0–0, Schetter 0-0–0. TOTALS: 15-42 11-17 — 42.
North Baltimore 11 12 13 14 — 50
St. Wendelin 4 12 9 17 — 42
3-Point GOALS: North Baltimore 7-17 (Frost 4, Bishop 3); Fostoria St. Wendelin 1-16 (Rutter).
rebounds: North Baltimore 25 (Wright 6); Fostoria St. Wendelin 23 (Walters 7).
turnovers: North Baltimore 14; Fostoria St. Wendelin 17.
junior varsity: North Baltimore, 42-31.