CORUNNA — Perry’s Caleb Leykauf scored his 1,000th career point and finished with 25 for the game as the Ramblers downed Owosso 63-36 Wednesday in a Division 2 district semifinal at Corunna.
The 6-foot-4 Leykauf — who now sits at 1,011 points — needed 14 to reach 1,000 coming into the contest and hit the milestone on a driving layup late in the second quarter. He downplayed the achievement and said he wasn’t even aware he had reached it until Perry coach Mike Shauver told him after the game was over.
“It’s a great goal — I’m happy that I achieved it — but I couldn’t do it without my coach and my teammates,” Leykauf said. “So, thanks to them.”
Shauver said Leykauf’s milestone was a tremendous achievement.
“Caleb, he’s a great scorer. He shoots the ball well, like he did tonight. He can go inside or outside. He’s a tough guard.”
Brodie Crim scored 11 points for the Ramblers, while Gage Foster scored six points — all in the fourth quarter. C.J. King had 10 assists and four steals with his five points. Leykauf added eight rebounds.
The Ramblers (18-4) now can focus on Friday’s 7 p.m. district championship game against Ovid-Elsie (20-2) which outlasted Corunna 51-46 in Wednesday’s early semifinal at Corunna. It’s a rematch of a late regular-season showdown from nine days ago, when Perry overcame a late seven-point deficit to beat Ovid-Elsie 59-55.
“I’m excited and it’ll be a good matchup,” Leykauf said.
Shauver said the game should be tight, very intense and highly charged.
“Ovid-Elsie is a great team,” Shauver said. “I guess the MHSAA seeds worked out. It’s going to be tough and it should be a great crowd.”
Perry — which had just six turnovers compared to Owosso’s 21 — led by just three after the first eight minutes, but then extended the lead to 12 by halftime.
“In districts everybody is going to come out and play hard,” Shauver said. “It’s not going to be easy, we know that. I was just proud of the effort we had — especially of our defense in the first half. I thought it was very good. We hang our hat on our defense.”
Owosso (1-20) was led by Eddie Mishler, with eight points and three rebounds. Taylor Lamrouex scored seven points while Jay Tuttle had six points and two assists. Hunter Blaha added six rebounds
Perry managed to take a 9-6 lead entering the second quarter as Leykauf scored seven points in the first eight minutes. Owosso stayed close with buckets from Hunter Blaha, Kaleb Anderson and Mishler.
Perry stretched the lead to 16-7 lead with a Leykauf two-pointer before Owosso’s Peyton Fields hit 3-pointer made it a six-point game.
A three-point play by Crim and Leykauf’s 1,000th-point layup made it 22-10 at halftime.
Owosso coach Dave Owens said his team turned in a solid defensive half.
“We were looking to contain their three big scorers (Leykauf, Crim and C.J. King),” Owens said. “And I thought we really did a good job of that in the first half — we did a pretty good job defensively. We played good team defense. Our goal is to give up 12 or fewer points in a quarter and at halftime, it was 22-10.”
Perry went on an 8-1 run to start the third quarter, on baskets by Crim and Tyler Bogner, two free throws by King and a 3-pointer by Leykauf to make it 30-11 with 5:48 left in the quarter.
“In the first couple of minutes in the third quarter, the game really opened up for us,” Shauver said. “That’s what we talked about at halftime, just being a little more aggressive on defense and just playing at a faster pace.”
Perry extended the gap to 40-22 entering the fourth quarter and Leykauf was taken out of the game with just over 3 minutes left.
Owens said Owosso couldn’t match Perry’s defensive hustle in the third quarter — and never recovered.
“I wasn’t too happy about the first minute and a half of the third quarter,” Owens said. “I thought that they just outworked us. They got a few loose balls that ended up being points for them, simply because they worked harder than we did .”
At the same time, Owosso had good looks at the basket but often didn’t get the shots to fall, Owens said.
“We had the same problem tonight that we’ve had for quite a bit of the year — we had difficulty in putting the ball in the basket,” Owens said. “If we could have gotten a few shots to fall in the first half then things might have been a little bit different at halftime.”
Division 2 District at Corunna
PERRY 63, OWOSSO 36
PERRY (18-4): Caleb Leykauf 10 2-3 25, Brodie Crim 5 1-3 11, Gage Foster 1 3-4 6, Tyler Bogner 1 0-0 2, Anthony Lewis 2 0-0 5, Kyle Ohlmer 1 0-1 2, C.J. King 1 3-6 5, Jared Warfle 2 0-1 4. Brody Kassa 1 1-2 3. Totals: 24 10-20 63.
OWOSSO (1-20): Peyton Fields 1 0-0 3, Taylor Lamrouex 2 2-4 7, Hunter Blaha 2 0-0 4, Kaleb Anderson 2 0-0 4, Wyatt Leland 0 0-1 0, Eddie Mishler 4 0-0 8, Jay Tuttle 2 0-0 6, Michael Porubsky 0 2-2 2, Charles Poag 0 2-4 2. Totals: 13 6-11 36.
Perry 9 13 18 23 — 63
Owosso 6 4 12 14 — 36
3-Point Goals: Owosso 4 (Fields 1, Lamrouex 1, Tuttle 2). Perry 5 (Leykauf 3, Foster 1, Lewis 1). Total Fouls (Fouled out): Owosso 15. Perry 10. Turnovers: Owosso 21. Perry 5.