Three minutes proved to be the difference between Pleasant Valley and Davenport Central on Tuesday night.
Three energy-filled minutes full of defense, rebounding and sharpshooting from the perimeter to start the second half separated the Spartans from the Blue Devils in a 60-47 Mississippi Athletic Conference game at PV.
“A lot of times for Tuesday night games there isn’t a lot of energy in the gym, so you have to create it yourself,’’ Pleasant Valley forward Brian Dayman said.
“We were a little sluggish early but after halftime, we came out and got it going. We moving the ball inside out, knocking down some threes and that gave us a lead.’’
The Spartans led 27-23 at halftime but hit Central from every direction during the opening three minutes of the third quarter, putting together a difference-making 13-2 run that starting with a basket inside from Dayman.
Hunter Snyder followed with a pair of 3-point baskets that were followed by another 3-pointer by Carter Cline and a jumper by Carter Duwa which left Pleasant Valley in control 40-25 with 5 minutes, 3 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
“Their lead went from four to 15 pretty quickly and we weren’t able to do anything at that point to stop it,’’ Blue Devils coach Craig Wurdinger said. “They hit us quickly and it took some time us to recover.’’
Three of Nate Tyson’s team-leading 15 points and a basket by Momodu Kargbo pulled Central within 50-41 with 5:49 remaining in the game, but the Spartans went on a 9-3 run over the next four minutes to secure the victory.
Pleasant Valley helped itself by using its length to dominate on the boards, setting the tone from the start by denying the Blue Devils second looks at the basket on its way to a 35-17 rebounding advantage.
The Spartans sent that message early, outrebounding Central 21-7 in the first half on a night when Caleb Carius led PV nine rebounds.
Three other Pleasant Valley starters, Dayman with eight and Cooper Edwards and Hunter Snyder with seven apiece, also factored into limiting the Blue Devils (3-7, 2-6 MAC) to one look at the basket.
“Central works the offensive boards really well and we felt that our ability to limit what they did there was going to be important for us. It turned out that way,’’ PV coach Steve Hillman said.
He felt it allowed the Spartans, led by 16 points from Duwa and 14 from Dayman, to overcome a slow start from the field.
Pleasant Valley (9-1, 7-1) led just 8-7 after one quarter but did not trail after Duwa strung together five straight points to give the Spartans a 13-10 lead just over two minutes in the second quarter.
“We were running our offense well, but the shots early just weren’t falling,’’ Hillman said. “We stuck with it, kept working and eventually things turned for us.’’