BY JEREMY SCHNEIDER | MIRROR SPORTS — If you boil it down to its most basic parts, the difference between winning and losing a basketball game can be determined by two factors – which team plays better defense and which commits fewer turnovers.
While Maumee and Southview were both stout on the defensive end of a Northern Lakes League boys matchup last week, the Panthers’ carelessness with the ball turned into too many Cougars points, leading to a 59-50 win for the visiting Sylvania team.
Maumee (4-7 overall, 0-5 NLL) committed 17 turnovers, leading to 23 Southview points.
“The scoreboard shows that we’re a decent defensive basketball team,” said Maumee coach Ryan Osier. ¨We take pride in progressing week after week.
“We really track our defensive effort. Every possession, we look at how many guys are doing what they should. We’ve progressed to where over 50 percent of the time, all of our guys are doing what they should.
“We’re hard to score on. A lot of (Southview’s) second- and third-quarter points came off our turnovers and in transition. …it was probably the difference in the game.”
The Panthers were up 10-2 early on and led 13-8 after one quarter. The Cougars rallied, however, with a 24-12 edge in the second quarter to take a halftime lead.
“I think it was their defense,” Osier said. “Their defense really put the pressure on us in that second quarter and lasted through the third quarter. We had a hard time adjusting to it.
“We knew it was coming. We prepped for it.”
Prior to the game, Maumee honored the seniors in gymnastics, cheerleading, dance and boys basketball.
The Panthers have a sizeable eight-person senior class on the hardwood and four of them led the way on the stat sheet.
Kyle Arndt had a team-high 16 points, shooting 8-of-10 from the floor. Jaden Walker added 13 points and five rebounds, while Ayden McCarthy had 11 points.
Jayvon Hutchinson grabbed 10 rebounds with four steals and two blocks.
“This is just a great group of guys,” Osier said. “When they come together, they can play nice basketball. They’re just a good group of guys.
“It’s nice to have the moment with their families. It’s pretty emotional. We had to go back in (to the locker room) before the game started because the guys were really feeling it.”
The Panthers might have a losing record to this point, but they’ve been in more games than they haven’t. For the season, they’ve outscored opponents 575-544, but they’re 0-4 in games decided by 10 or fewer points.
“We’ve been in enough of these games that they hurt just the same,” Osier said. “It is frustrating.”