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When St. Mary’s Ryken head boys basketball coach Dave Tallman took a look at the stats after a 64-38 loss to Paul VI (Va.) on Tuesday night, it was clear how the Knights dropped the home contest.

“Twenty turnovers, and [Paul VI had] 12 offensive rebounds, which equals 32 possessions that we just handed one of the top teams in the country,” Tallman said. “That’s not going to help you.”

Paul VI (Va.) 64, St. Mary’s Ryken 38

Paul VI 20 10 18 16

Ryken 12 6 9 11

Paul VI: Derrickson 12, Dorsey 12, Howard 10, Reaves 8, Smith 7, Robinson 6, Taylor 4, Higgins 3, Scanlon 2

Ryken: Kaya 12, Fullard 6, Oakley 6, Satisfield 6, Smith 4, Yancey 4

Free throws: Paul VI 5-10 (Robinson 2-2, Howard 1-1); Ryken 3-6 (Fullard 2-2)

3-point goals: Paul VI 1 (Howard); Ryken 1 (Oakley)

The turnovers did not help. A stretch of four straight turnovers in four possessions, three to end the third quarter and one to start the fourth, led directly to 10 Paul VI points as it stretched a 41-27 lead into a 51-27 advantage at start the fourth period.

“I thought, defensively, we honestly played well enough to win the game,” Tallman said. “We played hard, but when you give a team like that 32 extra possessions, you’re not going to have a chance.”

Paul VI (20-6, 12-4 WCAC) and head coach Glenn Farello won in wire-to-wire fashion at Ryken, jumping out to a 4-0 lead to start the contest and never looking back.

A 7-0 run to start the third period took a 30-18 lead and turned it into a 37-18 cushion, but it was the defense throughout that led Paul VI to its 20th overall win of the season.

“We have done a great job in the second half of the season in really locking down defensively,” Farello said. “That has been a focal point and a source of pride right now. Young kids are buying into that, and they are playing like five guys together in moving around.

“The defense kind of leads us and everything else. We are a little bit streaky offensively and have been all year. We need to have our defensive pressure and have to get on the glass. We have a great group at the [small forward, power forward and center positions] who get on the glass and rebounding.”

Marcus Derrickson and Kevin Dorsey led the Panthers with 12 points each in the win, and senior Stan Kaya led the Knights with 12 points.

“We had 20 turnovers tonight, and that’s crazy,” Kaya admitted.

The 26-point loss equals the worst loss of the current Ryken (9-16, 1-15) seven-game losing streak, that a 75-49 loss to Bishop O’Connell (Va.) on Jan. 27.

This was also Ryken’s second loss of the season to Paul VI. The Knights fell 64-47 on Jan. 11.

“The first game we played against Paul VI, we were really good,” Kaya said. “In this second one, I don’t know what happened. I am just so disappointed. But we’re going to keep working. We have three games left, and we think we’re going to get two games.”

The Knights travel to face Archbishop Carroll (D.C.) at 7:30 tonight before hosting McLean School at 3 p.m. Saturday and closing the regular season at 7 p.m. Monday at Good Counsel, to make up a Jan. 25 postponement.

“I think we need to work more on our defense,” Kaya said. “We’re better than that. Coach Tallman, in the locker room, was saying, “Come on, I know you’re better than that.’ I don’t know what happened.”

Tallman added, “We have three games in four days, and I told the guys, personally, I’m not one that’s going to pack it in and say this thing’s over.”

jmccray@somdnews.com