Buzzer beater squelches Cavs’ title hopes

  • Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A last second desperation shot at the buzzer found its mark and brought the St. John’s Christian Academy Cavaliers’ dream of playing for a state championship to a grinding, excruciating halt last week.

St. John’s lost 57-55 to Laurens Academy in Sumter.

The 45-foot buzzer beater catapulted Laurens Academy into the SCISA Class A state championship game against the Christian Academy of Myrtle Beach.

The Cavaliers held the lead for all but the game’s final three seconds, jumping out to a 14-6 first quarter advantage and extending it to 29-18 at the half.

But the second half belonged to Laurens.

A 20-point third quarter cut the Cavalier lead to three, 41-38, and the two teams played neck-and-neck before the game ending three-pointer.

Jalen Ward led the Cavaliers with 19 points and Damian Hurta added 17 points to lead the tandem attack for SJCA. Robby O’Dell popped in nine points, Greg Gamble chipped in eight, and Dustin Parsons two points to round out the Cavalier scoring.

Cavs 70, Faith Christian 44

The fourth time was the charm for St. John’s as the Cavs downed archrival Faith Christian 70-44 in the quarterfinals of the Class A SCISA state basketball tournament at Orangeburg Prep on Feb. 25.

The Cavaliers rallied behind a 28-point fourth quarter to pull way for the blowout win in the SCISA quarterfinals.

Until Tuesday’s win, the Knights had beaten St. John’s handily in three previous meetings.

Greg Gamble’s 23 points, 17 rebounds and 9 blocks led the way for SJCA, one of three players to score in double figures for the Cavaliers.

“We made some slight adjustments in the placement of our personnel and the players executed them perfectly,” said Coach Bob Winters.

Damian Hurta added 20 points and Jalen Ward 18 points to help lead the SJCA offense.

Gamble was one blocked shot away from another triple-double for the big inside man, scoring 23 points, hauling down 17 rebounds and blocking nine shots in the win.

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