The Flyers found themselves down nine points at halftime, but the lead ballooned to as many as 19 points.
St. Paul made a comeback, drawing as close as five points on three separate occasions, but the deficit was too much as Perkins held on for a 56-48 non-league on Saturday.
"I thought we played where we felt sorry for ourselves," St. Paul coach Mike Smith said. "We were not sticking our nose in it and getting after it."
Two free throws by Michael Wade gave the Pirates a 26-17 lead at halftime. The margin stretched further when the Pirates hit their first four shots of the third quarter — two 3s from Drew McVeigh and consecutive buckets by Isaac Grude.
"I thought the biggest part of the game was the first few minutes of the third quarter," Perkins coach Scott McVeigh said. "We hit some shots and made them take a timeout. We came out attack-minded. We ran the floor and got some easy buckets."
But, from that three-minute stretch on, the Flyers (14-7) played considerably better. Nate Winslow hit back-to-back buckets and later, a pair of 3-pointers by Brandon Furlong cut the lead to 40-29. Sam Siegel scored for Perkins (12-9), but Ian Kashian countered down low to keep the deficit at 11 points.
In the fourth quarter, a triple from Siegel from the top of the arc pushed gave Perkins a 47-33 lead with 5:57 left, but St. Paul was not completely done.
Winslow, Furlong, and Jake Griffin each made two free throws. After an empty possession by Perkins, Griffin hit his only shot of the game — a triple — to slice the lead to 47-42 with 3:02 left.
"We went to a smaller lineup, which is something we have not done," Smith said. "I thought we played with a lot more energy."
But five points was all the closer the Flyers got. Joe Printy scored for Perkins, but Winslow responded. The teams each split two free throws with 48.7 seconds left.
The two biggest free throws of the night came from Grude though. After missing the front of the one-and-one situation twice, he connected on a pair if free throws for a 52-45 lead.
"Those two he hit after missing a few free throws were huge," coach McVeigh said. "It got us a little bit of breathing room. We had to get stops and take care of the ball. We were at a point where we had them beat."
Furlong's fourth 3-pointer of the night cut the lead to six points once, but the stretch in the third quarter proved to be too costly.
"The kids kept their composure," McVeigh said. "It got sloppy for about a two-minute span where we were just trying to make great passes. A lot of it had to with St. Paul's pressure. We did not make the best decisions in the world."
Perkins led the game from start to finish. A 3 from Siegel and a bucket from Grude after a St. Paul turnover opened a 10-4 lead for the Pirates.
The Flyers scored the last four points of the first quarter, but in the second quarter, Grude drilled a 3-pointer for a 17-10 lead. Furlong responded with a 3 of his own and Kashian scored down low to get the Flyers within 19-15. But, the next five points went to the Pirates, giving Perkins a 24-15 lead with 1:36 left in the second quarter.
"Offensively, Brandon made some 3s and gave us a lift," Smith said. "He is playing really well. Defensively, we pressured the ball and rebounded the basketball. We got a few run-outs and that got us going. We could have tanked it and walked out with a 30-point loss."
Furlong led the Flyers with 16 points. Griffin was held to five points and four rebounds — both well below his season averages.
"I thought the game was very physical," Smith said. "Perkins did a nice job as far as bumping him around a little bit. I told our kids that it was going to be a physical game. That is how Perkins plays. They are very good defensively."
Siegel scored 19 points while Grude tallied 11 points.
"Perkins is a really good basketball team," Smith said. "They are a nice Division II team. They had a nice win versus Margaretta (Friday) night. They have some quality wins. I have the utmost respect for Coach McVeigh. I really like how our kids fought go the end. To play Perkins here and be down 19 points and get back in it was good to see. We have got to learn from it."
The St. Paul junior varsity team improved to 18-3 overall with a 46-44 win over the Pirates. Down 44-43 in the closing seconds, Spencer Myers drilled a 3-pointer from about 28 feet at the top of the key at the buzzer. Jordan Shepherd led the JV Flyers with 16 points and Adam Baker added 14.
ST. PAUL (14-7)
Jake Griffin 1-2—5, Nick Winslow 1-0—2, Nate Winslow 5-2—12, Ian Kashian 2-2—6, Alex Kashian 2-3—7, Brandon Furlong 4-4—16. TOTALS 15-13—48.
Sam Siegel 7-3—19, Drew McVeigh 3-0—8, Isaac Grude 4-2—11, Joe Printy 2-5—9, Zach Voight 1-0—2, Michael Wade 2-3—7. TOTALS 19-12—55.
St. Paul 8 9 14 17 — 48
Perkins 10 16 16 14 — 55
3-point FGs: (STP) Furlong 4, Griffin; (P) McVeigh 2, Siegel 2, Grude
JV: St. Paul, 46-44