DUGGER — Rivet's boys basketball team found itself in a rare close game with Dugger on Saturday before relying on a freshman to build a cushion.
Isaac Kotter beat the third-quarter buzzer with a 3-pointer, then tossed in seven of his career-high 13 points in the fourth quarter in the Patriots' 47-34 victory.
While Kotter sparkled late, Peyton Catt was a game-long, stat-stuffer for Rivet (3-5) with 18 points and 18 rebounds. The Patriots hadn't been in a game closer than 25 points before Saturday, but the Bulldogs (1-2) were within five points late in the third quarter before Kotter took over.
"Our guard play stepped up in the fourth quarter. It started with Isaac hitting that big 3 to end the third quarter. That gave us momentum and breathing room," Rivet coach Mark Bezy said. "We were stronger with the basketball in the fourth quarter. That third quarter, Dugger wanted the ball more and was more aggressive."
Kotter had 11 points in four games prior to Saturday.
"Isaac is not playing like a freshman. He's starting to get used to the speed of the game and is becoming more fundamenatlly sound," Bezy said. "He's aggressive already, and that's a good thing. Isaac has come along nicely."
Dugger used an 11-3 spurt to close within 23-20 early in the third stanza, as Kotter's 3-pointer was the only Rivet points in an eight-minute stretch. It was 29-24 when Charlie Niehaus hit Kotter in the left corner for another three at the horn to push the lead to eight.
The Patriots scored the first five in the fourth quarter, with Niehaus' free throw taking it to 37-24 with 5:48 to go. Kotter then tossed in seven points in a row to keep Rivet's lead in double figures.
Catt and Niehaus had six apiece in the opening quarter, then Catt hit two free throws and a bucket for a 20-9 edge before Dugger's comeback. Catt had a double-double by halftime and hit all eight free throw attempts in the game.
"Peyton is averaging a double-double. He's a workhorse and we couldn't be happier with his production all year," Bezy said. "His play goes under the radar at times.
"This team is playing hard for me. They're scrappy. They're getting better and I have no complaints."
Brennen Martin had 11 points to pace the Bulldogs before fouling out late. Russton Gilstrap had nearly a double-double of nine points and 10 rebounds.
No junior varsity game was played.
The Patriots host North Central at 7 p.m. next Saturday in a varsity-only game.
RIVET 47, DUGGER 34
Dunn (f) 3-9 0-0 6, Catt (f) 5-10 8-8 18, Kotter (g) 4-10 2-4 13, Hinkle (g) 1-3 1-4 3, Niehaus (g) 3-9 1-2 7, Weiss 0-4 0-0 0, Farris 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 16-46 12-18 47.
Haton (f) 2-10 0-0 5, Gilstrap (f) 3-5 2-7 9, Martin (g) 4-13 2-2 11, Racey (g) 4-8 0-0 9, Nesbitt (g) 0-0 0-0 0, Butler 0-0 0-0 0, Samm 0-1 0-0 0, Stone 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 13-37 4-9 34.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Rivet|16-7-9-15 — 47
Dugger |9-8-7-10 — 34
3-pointers: Rivet 3-13 (Kotter 3-9, Dunn 0-1, Hinkle 0-1, Niehaus 0-1, Farris 0-1), Dugger 4-18 (Gilstrap 1-1, Racey 1-2, Martin 1-6, Haton 1-8, Samm 0-1). Rebounds: Rivet 35 (Catt 18), Dugger 20 (Gilstrap 10). Turnovers: Rivet 15, Dugger 12. Fouls: Rivet 16, Dugger 17. Fouled out: Martin.