PERU — St. Bede hosted Putnam County Tuesday night in what ended up being a one-sided game. The Panthers were able to keep it respectable through the end of the first half. But by the final buzzer, the Bruins had shot their way to a 26-point margin winning 68-42.
Spearheading the charge were seniors Brad Groleau and Joe Pyszka. Groleau scored 19 points with Pyszka, the game’s highest scorer, earning 21 points. Cody Veranda was the highest scoring Panther with 16 points.
The game started off like it was going to be a close one. The teams were all knotted up at 13 by the end of one. In the second quarter the Bruins began to create some separation, yet the Panthers were able to keep the margin manageable. At halftime it was 29-24.
In the second half things changed. The Panthers began struggling to hold onto the ball. When they did get shots, they didn’t make them. Meanwhile, the Bruins kept the foot on the pedal. At one point, Groleau snatched an offensive rebound and took it to the hole. He returned a few seconds later and drained a three. Groleau also created a number of turnovers.
“I thought Groleau got his hands on a lot of balls, passes. And he played inspired. This is a big rivalry game for these kids — they really got after it,” Bruins’ coach Mike Kilmartin said.
The Bruins were equally tough on the defensive end with Pyszka posting up well. Even when the rest of the team beat Pyszka to the other end, the Bruins were able keep the Panthers at bay.
“We put enormous pressure on the outside to help keep them out of the middle. But, when they got there he bothered them,” Kilmartin said.
The Bruins will be headed to the Colmone Classic next week. They won’t return home until Dec. 18.