It took a little bit of time, just not long as the Sailors bounced back with a 66-60 win over Huron in a non-conference boys basketball game Saturday night.
Vermilion fell behind 7-2, but then rattled off the next 16 points to show they really had put Friday in the past. Junior Cameron Kuhn scored seven of his game-high 25 points in the first quarter as the Sailors opened an 18-9 lead they would not relinquish the rest of the night.
Not that they didn’t try. Huron pushed the Sailors to the finish line, cutting a double-digit lead to four in the third quarter before Vermilion dropped in four 3-pointers in the fourth period to pull away.
“We knew Huron was going to throw everything at us and we were just trying to weather the storm,” said the Sailors’ Anthony Rini, who scored 20 points and drained the second pair of threes in the fourth quarter. “After that storm, we were able to break their pressure and made good use of it.”
After Huron’s quick start, the Sailors turned up the pressure on their trap defense, forcing six Tigers turnovers in the first quarter.
Forrest Boyd started the run with a layup and then Kuhn rattled off his seven points with a pair of driving baskets and three free throws.
Kyle Nader chipped in a hoop and Rini scored five, including a 3-pointer to end the 16-point run.
“Last night we did not play a good basketball game and for them to come out with that in the first quarter speaks volumes about this team,” Sailors coach Kurt Habermehl said.
The Sailors (3-1) extended their lead to 33-21 at the half, but Huron switched to a 1-3-1 pressure zone in the third quarter and forced eight Vermilion turnovers.
The Tigers (2-2) rattled off a 13-5 run with Cody Thompson (12 points) and Aaron Casey (11) bringing the Huron fans to their feet with huge dunks to trim the lead to 38-34 with 1:45 left in the third quarter.
But with the score 40-35 going into the final eight minutes, the Sailors found their long-range touch as Kyle Nader and Rini dropped a pair of 3-pointers each on Huron.
After a Kuhn layup, Nader hit his two threes to extend the lead to 48-37. Two minutes later, Rini hit his long-distance shots as Vermilion pushed its lead to 59-44 with 4:31 left.
“We knew we had to attack more on the boards and shooting,” Nader said. “(Huron’s) pressure sped us up a little bit in the fourth and my teammates and I were able to knock down some shots.”
The Tigers did manage to cut the lead under double figures with late 3-pointers from Aaron Driftmeyer and Casey, but it was too little too late for the Tigers.
“You have to give Nader a lot of credit, he struggled during the game and for him to hit those threes for us was huge,” Habermehl said. “We got a chance to show everyone what kind of team we really are after a bad night at Elyria Catholic on Friday.”
Contact James Brady at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vermilion 66, Huron 60
HURON (60): Trae Graham 1-2 4, Aaron Driftmeyer 5-1 12, Cody Thompson 6-0 12, Jake Justus 1-0 3, Aaron Casey 4-2 11, Colin McCready 3-8 14, Zach Souter 2-0 4. Totals 22-13-60.
VERMILION (66): Anthony Rini 7-1 20, Forrest Boyd 3-1 7, Kyle Nader 4-2 12, Ryan Miller 1-0 2, Cameron Kuhn 8-8 25. Totals 23-12-66.
Huron 9 12 14 25 — 60
Vermilion 18 15 7 26 — 66
Three-point goals: Huron 3-of-8 (Driftmeyer, Justus, Casey), Vermilion 8-of-20 (Rini 5, Nader 2, Kuhn); Field goals: Huron 22-of-47 (47 percent), Vermilion 23-of-55 (42 percent); Free throws: Huron 13-of-22 (59 percent), Vermilion 12-of-17 (71 percent); Rebounds: Huron 32, Vermilion 21; Turnovers: Huron 19, Vermilion 14; Fouled out: Huron: Graham.
Junior varsity: Vermilion, 46-42 (2OT)