The yearly non-conference battle between the Norwalk and Perry boys basketball teams has been a treat for fans of high-level basketball over the past few seasons, and Tuesday’s meeting in the Perry High School gymnasium lived up to the budding rivalry’s reputation.
Perry lead most of the way but could never quite build a comfortable lead, with Norwalk (5-1) eventually slipping away down the stretch for a 73-71 victory.
The loss is the third of the season for Perry, whose was 9-2 before dropping a game at Bondurant-Farrar Jan. 13 for their third loss last season.
Now 2-3 overall, Perry did have one historical highlight in the loss, though it was not acknowledged to the crowd at the time — the all-time career scoring record was reset.
Senior guard Shammond Ivory had 30 points in the loss, giving him 1,310 for his career, surpassing the standard set by Mark Einck, who finished his career in 1978 with 1,304 points. Ivory now has 113 points in four games (28.25 ppg) and while it is not to be expected that he continue to score at such a torrid pace, it is likely, barring misfortune, that he will set the mark at a level that may well outlast the 37 years Einck’s record survived.
Two 3-pointers from Kyle Nevitt, one from Alex Long and six points from Ivory — including a thunderous dunk off a steal — helped Perry surge to an early 18-6 lead.
However, Norwalk was far from flustered and battled back to trim their deficit to two points, at 28-25, entering the intermission.
Warrior sophomore guard Luke Vaske, who matched Ivory with 30 points, hit one of his eight 3-pointers early in the third quarter for a 34-31 lead for the guests, marking the first time Perry had trailed in the game.
Six consecutive points from Rashon Ivory lifted Perry to a 45-38 lead late in the third quarter, but Vaske led the response for Norwalk, who trailed, 48-43, with eight minutes to play.
Shammond Ivory sank a trey to give Perry a 53-45 lead, but Norwalk simply refused to go away. While the Warriors had no answer for the elder Ivory, neither could the Bluejays silence Vaske, who sank consecutive triples from deep in the corner as the guests seized a 65-61 edge.
The game was tied at 67-all when Ivory nailed a 3-pointer that broke Einck’s scoring record, but the Warriors used a Cade Moritz put-back, a Michael Geistler dunk in traffic and a Kason Crall’s only points of the game to surge to a 71-68 lead with 12.5 seconds left as the Bluejays missed three of four free throws.
Moritz had 20 points for Norwalk and his rebounding hurt Perry throughout the game, especially in the fourth quarter. His final carom set up two free throws from Matthew Guessford for a 73-68 lead, with Shammond Ivory allowed to take an uncontested 3-pointer — which he hit — as the horn sounded.
Five Warriors scored: Vaske had 30 points, Mortiz 20, Geistler 11, Guessford 10 and Crall two.
In addition to Shammond Ivory’s 30 points, Nevitt provided a strong effort by pouring in 19 points, with Rashon Ivory adding 12. Seven points from Janier Puente and three from Long completed the scoring ledger for the hosts.
Perry will host Carroll Friday, then visit Ogden for a frosh/JV/varsity set beginning at 12 p.m. Saturday in what will be their final pre-holiday action.
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