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District boys basketball semifinal

 Spartans hold off late Rams' surge


   Mother Theresa uses early turnovers and three pointers to sink St. Joe's,

   78-68, in a District senior boys basketball semifinal 


  March 7, 2022



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By Rob J. Ross 

ST. THOMAS - A determined comeback effort in the final quarter fell short for the St. Joseph's Rams.

The Mother Theresa Spartans held off a late surge to advance to the District senior boys basketball final, with a 78-68 win over the Rams, in a semifinal, Monday, at St. Joe's.

"I always say in big games the team that executes the best wins," Rams' coach Troy Rick said. "I would say in the first half we struggled. Our execution wasn't as good as it's been all year. We brought the energy back in the second half. Once we got the ball moving we got a lot of good looks. If we banged home a few more foul shots and hit a couple threes, it would be a different out look."

Mother Theresa jumped out to a 25-17 lead after one quarter and held a 46-30 advantage at half-time.

The Spartans stretched their lead to 57-39, before the Rams made a valiant comeback push, starting with a 10-2 run late third quarter.

With just under three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, the deficit was only three points.

But as soon as the Rams pulled to within one point, at 67-66, two costly turnovers allowed the Spartans to jump back ahead 73-66, thanks to a pair of three-point baskets.

"Ironically, when we pulled to within one point, we actually turned the ball over at the foul line which led to the other way. That was kind of the story of the game," Rick said. "Turnovers. I said to our guys, every time we turn the ball over at the foul line in our offensive zone, they're taking it the other way for two points."

The Spartans drained 11 shots from three point land and were a force rebounding.

"Offensive rebounding, they probably had six offensive rebounds that led to almost 18 points," Rick said. "If you stop them for one shot, you certainly can't let them have two more. That killed us."

Owen Waterhouse and Tyson Dryphout led the Rams with 21 and 20 points, respectively. Kurt Oberus, chipped in with 10 points and Joel Bowden had eight.

Spartans' David Kamandali drained six threes, contributing to his 21 points. Pablo Cordon Diaz had 14 points, Joshua Ochieng, 12, and Jacob White, nine.

"They're a good team. They got some breaks," Rick said.

It was the final game for Waterhouse, Dryphout and Niko Dennis.

"I feel bad for them," Rick said. "Two of those guys, I've coached for seven years, through the Shock program."

Mother Teresa takes on John Paul II in the senior final.



    (More images on Instagram - hometownplay)