The cliche is that if you live by the 3, you die by the 3.
In other words, if you shoot a lot from behind the arc and those shots aren't landing, then there's no way for you to win.
Well, the Mentor boys basketball team beat Benedictine and that cliche Saturday night.
The Cardinals depended on their second straight night of strong defense and another team-leading performance by Michael Gallagher to overcome making only 9 of 36 3s.
Mentor (12-2) forced 17 turnovers en route to the 68-57 win.
That means, in the two consecutive wins against Brunswick and Benedictine this weekend, the Cardinals forced 47 turnovers.
On the other hand, Mentor only converted 21 of 74 from beyond the arc for a 28 percent rate during the same time span.
“We talk about it all the time that when the 3s aren’t going we have to be strong inside and find ways to score the ball,” Mentor coach Bob Krizancic told Ohio Varsity.
“I thought the best thing about the weekend was the press was good and we created 47 turnovers. That’s huge when the 3s aren’t falling. And another bright spot was Michael Gallagher giving us two big games. We have some other guys we are waiting to step up, but overall, it was a good weekend to play two teams like Brunswick and Benedictine.”
Gallagher led Mentor with 17 points against Benedictine. He scored a career high 22 against Brunswick.
“We haven’t been shooting the ball well lately except for the North game (school record 22 3-pointers), so hopefully those will start falling,” Gallagher said. “We feel like when we are on our game we can play with anybody in the area. We think maybe any team in the state.
“Personally, I feel like making a couple of hustle plays gets me going and gets the team going. I have been feeling good lately and I was confident I could play like this.”
Jeff Foreman scored 12 points and Caleb Potter added 11 for Mentor. Brody Nelson and Kade McClure each chipped in 8 points for Mentor, and Conner Krizancic racked up seven points and seven rebounds.
The Cardinals did a better job of closing out the game against Benedictine than they did against Brunswick. Thy only scored nine points in the fourth quarter against Brunswick but put up 17 points in the final frame Saturday.
Another way in which Mentor improved between Friday and Saturday is free throw shooting. Cardinals only made 5 of 9 from the foul line against Brunswick but were 13 of 14 from the charity stripe against Benedictine, including 10 of 10 in the second half.