By Logan Brandon • Logan Brandon • 

Pirates pull away in fourth, vanquish Blanchet Catholic, 74-52

DAYTON -- Under a steady offensive game plan and solid defending, the Dayton boys' basketball team notched an impressive 74-52 win against Blanchet Catholic tonight. Three Pirates scored in double-figures, with Tanner Lewis leading the way with 23 points, including two backbreaking buckets to begin the fourth quarter which sealed the victory.

During the first period, the Cavaliers traded leads with their hosts, grabbing advantages at 2-0 and 7-5. However, Dayton ended the quarter on a 17-6 run, highlighted by two Braeden Nowlin three-pointers.

Halfway through the second, Dayton opened up a 15-point edge as Lewis used his long strides in gliding to the hoop for two points. Matthew Brodeur hit a pull-up jumper shortly after, making it 36-21. Blanchet Catholic embarked on a run of their own, trimming the deficit to 38-31 on James Moore's buzzer-beating trey.

Dayton kept the visitors at arm's length in the third, powered by Jaysen Howard's inside presence and two more Nowlin three-pointers. Tristan Fergus capped the quarter by rumbling to the rack for a lay-in, making it a 56-43 margin entering the final period.

While the Cavaliers were within striking distance, Lewis immediately dashed their comeback hopes at the start of the fourth. First, he swished a step-back three. Next, he left his defender in the dust on a reverse lay-up, increasing the Pirates lead to a daunting 20 points.

Howard made it a 67-47 margin with a spin and finish. Shortly thereafter, both head coaches began inserting their respective bench players. Over the remaining three minutes, the Pirates played solid defense against their Cavalier counterparts, sealing the 74-52 victory.

Lewis added four rebounds and three assists to his game-high 23 points, Nowlin added 16 points and Howerd chipped in 11 points and two blocks.

The Pirates (2-0, 0-0 WVL) return to action at home Friday night against Nyssa; tip-off is 7 p.m.

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