MANSFIELD -- Suffice to say that Joe Jakubick is not a huge fan of Senior Nights.
The veteran Mansfield St. Peter's coach just watched his Spartans struggle to a 53-49 win against an improving Mansfield Christian team in a Mid-Buckeye Conference boys' basketball game Friday night.
The struggle came as a surprise after St. Peter's (13-7, 8-2) raced out to a 17-6 lead after the first quarter on a night the Spartans honored senior athletes and their parents.
What was difference the rest of the way as the Flames (5-17, 2-8) roared back and actually took a 44-41 lead with 6:21 left in the fourth quarter?
"I call it senioritis," Jakubick said. "Caleb (Stewart) and Luke (Henrich) started trying to do too much on their own. It was the last home game and they wanted it to be special. I think they tried to do too much.
"We wanted to do a couple of different things, but we just went AWOL," Jakubick said. "Our heads weren't where they needed to be. All of a sudden you are in control of the game, then it goes a little awry, a lot of times you can sort of panic a little bit.
MCS RALLY: The Flames, who came in with wins in their last four games, outscored the Spartans 16-10 in the second quarter and trailed just 27-22 at the intermission.
Still down 41-32 with one minute left in the third, MCS ended the period with 6-0 run and started the fourth with another 6-0 run to take a three-point lead.
But St. Peter's junior Jonah Ramey scored six points in the final period and junior Shawn Perkins-Harris connected on three of five free throws in the fourth as the Spartans outscored the visitors 12-5 the rest of the way.
Jakubick praised the play of Ramey, who missed several games with illness and injury this season. He finished with with a team-high 17 points, including eight in the first quarter and 11 in the first half.
"Jonah is getting better. We haven't had that all year. His last two games (including a win last Saturday at Marion Harding), he is just starting to go into what we thought he would be. If we can get Luke and Caleb settled down and not trying to score 10 points on one shot, I think we will be OK," Jakubick said.
Henrich finished with 13 points and Stewart had 11 for the Spartans. Perkins-Harris had eight.
St. Peter's hurt itself at the foul line, connecting on just 14 of 26 free throws.
"I was disappointed in how we performed tonight. Yeah, we won, but you can lose a game and feel good about it. I know people look at the scoreboard and can become enamored with it. I look at all the other things. Whether we win or lose, it's about competing. I have a certain level of expectation and we obviously didn't do that very well tonight," Jakubick said.
HOT FLAMES: Two MCS seniors, Jared Mount and Ethan Berry, performed well for the Flames. Mount led Mansfield Christian with 16 points, including 10 in the second half. Barry finished with 14, 10 of which came in the first half.
Mount has led the late resurgence for the Flames after sitting out the first part of the season.
"Obviously, they are a better team with him," Jakubick said. "That goes without saying and it shows in how competitive they have been in games.
"This is a rivalry, anyway. In my five years here, it seems like we always bring the best out of Mansfield Christian. We have been fortunate to win, but we bring out the best in them," the Spartans' coach said.
Mansfield Christian coach Adam Parrott was not available for comment after the game.
UP NEXT: St. Peter's has a huge test Saturday night at 19-2 Canal Winchester Harvest Prep, one of the state's top Division III teams. It's the regular season finale for the Spartans before they begin the Division IV tournament.
"(Saturday) is a totally different animal. Tomorrow, we gotta be focused and go down there and compete. For some reason, we have had issues of competing on a consistent basis, even when we win games," Jakubick said.
Mansfield Christian's next game will be Feb. 26 at 6:15 p.m. at Shelby High School in the Division IV sectional opener against Sandusky St. Mary.