Wednesday, January 23, 2013
There’s nothing wrong with a good, old-fashioned thriller.
Especially if you are fortunate enough to come out on the winning side, like St. John’s Christian Academy’s boys basketball team on Jan. 15.
After being down by 17 points at the half the Cavaliers came to life in the third quarter and pulled out an overtime thriller 80-78 against Ashtree Learning Center.
“It was a high quality high school basketball game,” said St. John’s coach Bob Winters. “Ashtree came in 14-1 and have a couple of at least mid-major college prospects. They were big (6-7, 6-4, and 6-3), fast, athletic, and had good basketball skills.”
A 20-point third quarter spurred the Cavs comeback.
“There is a purposefulness to the way I schedule games and this was a team that would have trounced us in early December,” Winters said. “I wanted to assess our progress to date and was pleased with our effort, competitiveness, intelligent play and ability to make plays down the stretch with the game on the line.”
The Cavalier defense limited Ashtree Learning to just 22 second half points before the overtime period while the offense poured in 39 points to tie the score at the end of regulation.
“We are maturing into a good team,” the coach said. “Mike Lewis, Damian Hurta and Jalen Ward led us offensively with Bobby (Winters) chipping in nine assists on some big time passes.”
Lewis led SJCA with 27 points while Hurta poured in 23 points and Ward 16 to lead the Cavaliers.
Ashtree’s Marcus Brown led all scorers with 35 points.
Greg Gamble played big in the paint with 11 points, 15 rebounds and seven blocked shots, including a pair of monster slam dunks according to Winters.
“All of our guys stepped up and played tough, hardnosed, aggressive basketball,” he said. “We came back from 17 down at the half, kept our foot on the gas, but never panicked or got in a hurry. Ashtree made some really tough shots but we just stuck to our plan and it paid off.
“I am really proud of our guys.”
SJCA improves to 11-4 and 4-0 in region play. Ashtree falls to 14-2.
The Cavaliers were to play Coastal Christian Academy on the road on Friday.