But for whatever reason, that Roughrider team stayed in Collins on Saturday.
Less than 24 hours removed from a hard fought win over Firelands Conference rival South Central in a first-place battle, Western played a rather unenthused style of basketball early on in its non-league battle with a maturing Perkins squad and were taken to task because of it.
The Pirates jumped out to a big first-half lead and never looked back in handing the ‘Riders a 60-40 loss that left their longtime coach slack-jawed and at a loss from words.
“Mentally, we weren’t mature tonight,” Sheldon said. “We need to understand that last night was great — that was over and done with. Coming in, we knew (the Pirates) were going to be physical, they were going to compete, they were going to get after us and our guys didn’t accept the challenge.
“We laid an egg. Not only did we lay it, we didn’t accept it. When you do that, you’re going to get your butt kicked, and (Perkins) put a good ole butt whooping on us tonight.”
A steal and layup by the Pirates’ Sam Siegel put Perkins (6-5) up 26-8 midway through the second quarter.
Western (7-3) shot just 3-of-17 in the opening eight minutes and were 16 for 48 (33 percent) for the game’s entirety.
“Tonight didn’t have anything to do with our ability to make shots or missing shots, it had everything to do with us not stepping on the floor ready to compete,” Sheldon said.
JJ Weisenberger hit a jump, then created a four-point possession with a second-chance and-one bucket inside that he missed the foul shot on, but scored again after an offensive rebound. That run of six points by Weisenberger cut the Roughriders’ deficit to 48-29 late in the third quarter before Cory Hipp scored to make it 48-31 with 1:37 left in the quarter. Weisenberger led the ‘Riders with 15 points, adding four steals.
Western never got closer than 16 points after the midway part of the second.
“Our kids like the game, they love to play and they usually like to compete,” Sheldon said. “But tonight, for whatever remote reason, we weren’t ready to do any of that. I didn’t notice any signs of this coming beforehand.
“It has everything to do with what’s between the ears and we must have left that back in Collins. Hopefully, this is lesson we can learn from and move past.”
Perkins’ Drew McVeigh led all scorers with 17 points.
WESTERN RESERVE (7-3)
Cory Hipp 3 2-4 8, JJ Weisenberger 7 0-1 15, Aiden Markley 0 3-4 3, Luke Rowlinson 3 0-0 8, Hayden Huntington 1 0-0 2, Luke Wyers 2 0-0 4. TOTALS: 16 5-9 40.
Sam Siegel 5 1-2 13, Drew McVeigh 6 0-0 17, Isaac Grude 2 0-0 5, Joe Printy 4 1-1 9, Zach Voight 4 1-2 10, MIchael Wade 3 1-1 7. TOTALS: 24 4-6 60.
Western 6 6 19 9 — 40
Perkins 18 15 17 10 — 60
3-point FGs: Perkins 8 (McVeigh 5, Siegel, Voight, Grude), Western 3 (Rowlinson 2, Weisenberger).