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The Orrick Bearcats battled from behind all night long in their I-70 Conference opener Tuesday at St. Paul’s of Concordia. The Bearcats erased second half deficits of 11 and 7 points and came away with a 47-44 victory over the Saints.
Orrick trailed from the outset as St. Paul’s scored the first 6 points of the game. The Saints held a 10-6 lead at the end of the first period and 23-16 at the half. St. Paul’s built a 32-21 lead in the third quarter, but Orrick cut that to 36-29 entering the final 8 minutes.
The Saints got their lead up to 7 points in the fourth quarter before the Bearcats began their comeback.
“The kids played hard and together and we came away with a tough conference victory,” Orrick Coach Morgan Dickson said. “Our defense really picked up in the fourth quarter as we played smart with lots of intensity.”
Dickson added the post play of Eric Rodenberg was key for the Bearcats, especially in the second half. Rodenberg ended the night with 9 points – 7 of those in the final two periods.
The Orrick coach also pointed to the play of Dakota Harth, who continued his scoring touch with 13 points, and Clayton Jones at the point and his 9 points.
Cameron McGlothlin was the third Bearcat with 9 points, while Kalija Rogers added 4 and Joe Kaufman, 3.
Jordan Bredehoeft hit for a game-high 16 points for St. Paul’s, with Brandon Haake and Clint Stuenkel adding 12 apiece.
The Bearcats converted 12 of 20 free throws – all in the second half, while the Saints made 11 of their 14 from the stripe.