Turnovers prove costly in Bowling Green loss

Published 9:06 am Monday, January 26, 2015

It became clear throughout Bowling Green’s game against Pontchartrain Christian Athletics Thursday that the Buccaneers would either win despite the turnovers or lose because of them.

Unfortunately for Bucs fans, it was the latter.

Bowling Green committed 26 turnovers in a 67-63 loss at home to PCA.

“That’s all we talked about in the locker room,” Bowling Green coach Pat King said. “We played a very good team, and we played good enough to win. I thought our halfcourt defense was good, and I thought our halfcourt offense was good. But the turnovers killed us on offense, and they got to score on them, so we never got to set up offense. I told our guys I was proud of them, but when you have 26 turnovers against a pretty good team, you’re not going to win. They’re a very good team, and that’s just way too many.”

The turnovers were a big key for Pontchartrain getting in front, 21-11, with 1:31 remaining in the first quarter. Bowling Green’s K.J. Robertson, who posted 13 points, including a 3-pointer, to go with nine rebounds and five assists, grabbed one of his five offensive boards and hit the putback to make it 21-13 after one.

Bowling Green got back in the game by making a 13-2 run in the second quarter.

Trailing, 27-18, at the 4:16 mark, Connor McCain, who posted a team-high 25 points on 9-of-14 shooting, six rebounds, two assists and a steal, drove the lane for two.

K.J. Robertson, who had 13 points, nine rebounds and five assists, made a layup.

Robertson then accepted a pass from Dylan Varnado and was good for two more, trimming the lead to 27-24 with 3:41 to go in the first half.

McCain continued the run with a jumper.

But the turnover bug bit Bowling Green when Jenero Porter made a steal in the backcourt and tallied the layup for Pontchartrain to make it a three-point game.

Then Brady Goings, who finished with nine points on four of five from the field, two boards, an assist and a steal, was good on a field goal to pull the Bucs within one at 29-28.

Robertson put his club in front with an offensive rebound from a missed free throw and hit the follow-up shot, giving Bowling Green a 30-29 advantage at the 1:12 mark. It was the Bucs’ first lead since being up 5-2 with 6:27 left in the first quarter.

The lead changed hands twice more before halftime, and the Bucs led, 34-31, at the break.

The teams played pretty even throughout most of the third quarter but Pontchartrain made a 5-0 run to break a 41-41 tie.

Peyton Welch gave PCA the lead with a bucket before Porter found him for three, and it was a 46-41 game with 59 ticks on the clock. The score was 49-43 after three.

Bowling Green had trouble stopping Welch. He scored 26 points.

King praised Welch’s play.

“It’s tough when you play those guys that can score shooting the ball and going to the basket. They’re intelligent, and they know how to get to the foul line. He was all of the above. He’s a very good ballplayer,” King said.

PCA began the fourth with the opening four points all by Welch, who hit a jumper and then came up with a steal and a layup to extend his team’s lead to 53-43 in the first 30 seconds.

Robertson ignited a 7-0 run for Bowling Green with a three. McCain then drove for two before Goings hit Jordan Barnes for two, and the lead was down to 53-50 at the 4:57 mark.

The teams exchanged a free throw each, and then Bowling Green tallied four straight. McCain tied the contest with a 3-point play, and then Barnes came up with a steal and passed to Bryan Ottinger, who was fouled. Ottinger split from the line to put his team in front, 55-54, with 2:57 to go.

The lead didn’t last long, as Matthew Thomas, who scored 26 points, nailed a three on the next possession to put PCA back in front.

After that, Pontchartrain never relinquished the lead.

Bowling Green was as close as 59-58 with 2:13 to go, but couldn’t get back in front in the, 67-63, loss.

Barnes posted six points, four rebounds and a steal while Jared Gambino had six points on a pair of treys and an assist.

Ottinger posted three points while Varnado added a point and an assist.

Bowling Green is 17-10 this season.

Pontchartrain’s Porter finished with nine points while Silas Borelly and Luke Maehler both added three.

Pontchartrain moves to 16-3.