When a team goes winless in its first six games, the pressure and hunger for a victory builds and builds.
Calvert coach Ted Willman said the Senecas didn't just have a monkey on their back prior to Friday's game with North Baltimore.
"When you're 0-6, it's a gorilla," he said.
Well, Willman can call Jane Goodall. The gorilla needs a new place to hang.
Calvert made eight 3-pointers - all came before the fourth quarter - and then surged in the final period to break the game open and win, 55-42.
The Senecas (1-6, 1-2 Midland Athletic League) made four baskets in the first quarter. All were 3's, two were by Mike Bennett. The team didn't make a two-point shot until 4:07 remained in the first half, when a layup by Jared Thompson broke a 12-all tie.
But North Baltimore stayed close and even pulled ahead briefly, 17-16, when Tyler Trumbull made a pair of foul shots with 1:54 left in the half.
Brad Iannantuono gave the Senecas back the lead, hitting a 3 with 58 seconds remaining. Calvert held a 19-18 lead at the break.
"I thought the first half, offensively, we hurried a lot of stuff," Willman said. "We had a lead, and we're trying ... 'OK, we need to keep scoring more points, keep scoring more points,' and it was counter-productive, and we'd hurry a pass, and it'd get tipped."
Calvert was able to stretch its lead in the beginning of third quarter by using what had worked in the first half - the 3-point shot. Gruss made a left-wing trey, then after a North Baltimore turnover, Austin Ball hit one from the right side. The Senecas led 25-18.
While Calvert was taking off, the Tigers were struggling just attempting shots. They turned the ball over seven times in the third quarter, and had only one rebound in the period. Another 3, this one from Bennett at the 2:26 mark, pushed the Senecas' advantage to 34-25.
"Once we came out in that third quarter, we had three turnovers right in a row that hurt us, and they came down, hit two 3's," North Baltimore coach Jon Eichar said. "Our kids haven't won a lot of games, we've been struggling, and I think that just broke their confidence."
The Tigers (1-5, 1-2) got 13 points from Jacob Frost in the loss.
Calvert wasn't able to put the game away until the fourth quarter, when it capitalized on 11 North Baltimore turnovers to push its lead to as many as 14. Jared Thompson scored seven of his 15 points in the fourth, as the Senecas were able to attack the basket.
"We thought (North Baltimore) was going to have to come out a little bit (on defense)," Willman said. "We got a couple back-door looks. ... We did a pretty good job a couple times of finding that back door, making some layups."
Bennett finished with 11 points and six rebounds. Brian Gruss had eight points with a team-leading eight rebounds, while Austin Ball had 10 points.
The best shot of the fourth quarter, the game, perhaps the season came from Trumbull. The Tiger, who appeared to be banged up much of the game, made a shot early in the fourth quarter that Willman compared to Kevin Durant, and Eichar compared to Larry Bird.
In the early going of the period, Trumbull had the ball to the right of the hoop, near the out of bounds line. Trumbull, well defended, attempted a shot as he was falling down that required the ball starting behind the backboard. The ball went over the glass and down through the hoop, without so much as touching the rim.
It was, frankly, a thing of beauty.
Even though Calvert had a considerable lead at the time, Willman admitted to being concerned.
"You're like, 'is that gonna be the big shot that gets them on a run?'" Willman said. "'Where they go on a 7-0 run, and it starts with some acrobatic, circus shot?'"
It wasn't, and now Willman is hoping the Senecas can carry that momentum into tonight's home game with Fostoria.
"We told the guys, 'enjoy this, it's been a long time coming.' But then, at the end of that sentence, we say 'enjoy this, but don't be satisfied,'" Willman said. "We've got an opportunity to build on what we did tonight."