PERRY — Perry experienced what it was like to have an unwanted guest who would just not go away in its Chagrin Valley Conference Chagrin Division matchup with visiting Chagrin Falls on Saturday night.

The Tigers (1-3, 0-2 CVC) rallied from a 13-point halftime deficit to take the unbeaten Pirates (4-0, 2-0) down to the wire before the hosts prevailed 43-38 at Perry High School.

Perry took a 26-13 halftime lead before the visiting Tigers roared back outscoring the Pirates 14-7 in the third period.

“We have had a lull in each game we have played,” Pirates coach Chad Frazier said. “It seems we have about five minutes where we play really bad. I just don't know the answer yet.”

Chagrin Falls also outscored the Pirates in the final period 11-10, but missed a series of open looks, putbacks, and made a pair of crucial turnovers to seal the Perry victory.

“When 43 points win the game, there just isn't much room for turnovers,” Tigers coach Dave Bargar said. “It just makes it more difficult. The guys we count on we just not as consistent as they usually are.”

Perry was extremely patient in their motion offense in the first half, hitting on 8-16 (50 percent) from the field and 7-10 (70 percent) from the line. The Pirates jumped out to a 8-2 lead behind five points from Kevin Siegel and three from Daniel Johnson. Junior guard Patrick Byrne also added four points in the period for Perry.

An aggressive Perry man defense rattled the Tigers into 4-13 (30.8 percent) shooting in that opening period and 6-23 (26.1 percent) by the half. The defense allowed the Pirates to fashion an 11-4 run as five different players scored to hand Perry its largest lead of the night at 13 points.

“I was unbelievably thrilled with the defense in the first half,” Frazier said, “We did not shoot well,” Bargar said, “But their defense had a lot to do with that. They played terrific defense.”

In addition to their scrappy man defense, the Pirates rattled the Tigers with a full-court press. But that press almost proved to be their undoing according to Frazier.

“I will probably take the blame for that,” said the first year Perry coach. “I probably pressed too long and it revealed two things. First, it exhausted our team, and secondly it showed we need to get in better shape.”

Chagrin Falls took only six third quarter shots, but dropped in five of them to go on a 14-5 rampage. It got five each from Matt Diles and Spencer Stevenson in the run. They pulled to within 31-27 with 1:28 remaining in the third.

John Phelps who had 10 on the night, dropped in a bucket to slow the Tigers momentarily and end the third period.

“I was pleased with our defensive effort,” Bargar said, “We never quit, we always fight back.”

Connor Clegg led the Tigers with 11, but teammate Spencer Stevenson was seemingly everywhere with five points in the final period.

“We forced some shots in the third quarter,” Frazier said. “We stopped screening people and they were playing a sagging zone.”

“We give a 100 percent,” he said, pleased to be unbeaten at 4-0, but cautioning of the need to get better to remain that way.”

Davis is a freelance writer from Madison Township.

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