Due to weather related issues, in some areas there may be delayed deliveries of your Monday issue of the NewsTribune.
If road conditions are severe enough, your delivery person may not be able to deliver your NewsTribune at all on Monday.
In this case, your Monday edition will be delivered with your Tuesday newspaper.
We ask you to be understanding for the safety of our carriers.
St. Bede senior Brad Groleau (No. 44) drives to the basket as Putnam County senior Cody Veronda defends Tuesday during the Bruins’ 62-48 non-conference victory at the Academy. NewsTribune photo/Anthony Soufflé
St. Bede center Joe Pyszka struggled early from the field Tuesday night against Putnam County as he connected on only 2-of-7 shots in the paint.
However, the Bruins’ 6-foot-7 big man got his shot straightened out in a dominant second half.
Pyszka connected on 8-of-9 baskets after intermission, including three consecutive scores right out of the break, to help fuel a big third quarter and a 68-42 win over Putnam County.
“My shots weren’t falling, so I just told myself to relax at halftime and keep doing what I do. If you keep putting them up, they’re going to fall eventually,” said Pyszka, who finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds, both game-highs.
Leading 29-24 after a first half that saw 25 combined turnovers, St. Bede turned to Pyszka in the paint offensively to start the third quarter.
The senior standout connected on his first three field goal attempts in the opening 1:10 of the half as the Bruins kept PC off the board and took an 11-point lead.
Panther junior Harold Fay stopped the Academy run with a basket — one of only two field goals in the frame for PC — but a trio of post scores from Pyszka, a Grant Bosnich 3-pointer and two points in the paint from fellow senior Brad Groleau upped the St. Bede lead to 20 at 46-26 with 3:30 left in the third.
“I started making some shots and it opened up some other guys. Those guys thrive on that,” Pyszka said.
The Bruins outscored PC 22-4 in the third quarter to take a 51-28 lead and held on in the final eight minutes as their advantage never fell below 18 for the remainder of the contest.
“At halftime we talked over everything. We were struggling on ‘D’ but we really clamped down in the second half,” Pyszka said. “We really just got after it. That was probably one of the best halves we’ve played all year.”
Groleau was one tally short of the Bruin team lead with 19 points and he added eight rebounds. Senior Sam Lucas, who had some key contributions of the bench in the second quarter — including a pair of 3-pointers — finished in double-digit scoring as well with 12 points and grabbed six rebounds for St. Bede (4-2).
“We could beat a lot of good teams playing like (we did in the second half). We wouldn’t be 4-2 if we played more like we played in the second half,” said Bruins’ coach Mike Kilmartin, who added he was happy with his team’s defensive effort in holding PC starter Xavier Warren scoreless and junior starter Harold Fay to only four points on a combined 1-of-20 shooting from the field.
Cody Veronda led Putnam County with 17 points and hauled in a team-best six rebounds for the Panthers (4-5), who were outscored 39-18 in the second half.
“They got the ball inside and hit three layups with Pyszka to start the second half and our heads went down. We looked beat. All of a sudden the look on our face said we were done. We lost our intensity. We quit rotating the way we wanted to. … and it wasn’t over at that point — we were only down 11 points.” said PC coach Josh Nauman of the Bruins’ early second-half surge. “When they came out and got three easy ones, we quit. Our effort, our body language — we were beat.”
Chris Yucus can be reached at 220-6995 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsChris.
Login to your account:
If you'd like to comment on this article, please log in or click here to subscribe.