SJPH defeats St. James in boys hoops

December 18, 1999|By DAN SPEARS

MERCERSBURG, Pa. - St. John's at Prospect Hall boys basketball coach said he didn't blame St. James for starting in a zone defense Saturday. Saints coach Wayne Ridenour didn't feel he had much of a choice.

cont. from sports page

As it turned out, the Vikings were the ones in a zone, jumping out to a 15-point first-quarter lead on the way to a 57-38 victory on the final day of the Mercersburg Rotary Showcase Classic.

"They scouted us against Gwynn Lake (a 71-50 loss Friday) when we struggled against a zone," Prospect Hall coach Bruce Kelley said. "But we took our time today and got some good shots and hit them."

Starting with Adama Diggs bank shot with four minutes, 15 seconds left in the first quarter, the Vikings (4-4) took off. They made field goals on seven of their next eight possessions, including an offensive rebound basket and two turnaround jumpers by James Lambert, to take a 19-4 lead after one quarter.


St. James (4-3, No. 6 Herald-Mail poll) only dresses nine players, and with the Saints playing for the third time in three days, Ridenour said his team tried something a little different. It didn't work.

"We were beat," Ridenour said. "That's why we went zone, and we don't do that often. I thought it would buy us some time, and then they torched it. It ended up I coached us into a 15-point hole."

St. James closed to 27-17 by halftime, but the Vikings came right back after intermission, rattling off a 12-4 run for an 18-point lead. After the Saints made one more run to make it 42-34 with 7:20 to play, Diggs and the Vikings ran their offense to perfection, getting the next eight points for a 50-34 game.

"Our starting point guard (Jami Green) is out, and Adama had to take over and didn't have a good game last night," Kelley said of his junior guard, who finished with nine points and five assists. "But that's the beauty of it. I told him, 'It's not like football where you have to stew on this for a week. You get to redeem yourself today.' ... It's really a joy to see him turning it around like that."

Meanwhile, not much was going right for the Saints, who finished 13-for-52 from the field and only had three players score. Jared Knotts finished with 18 and Billy Keyes had 15 points and eight rebounds.

"In spots we were OK, but we just shot so bad," Ridenour said. "You're not going to beat anybody shooting like that."

SJPH 57, St. James 38


Diggs 9, Martinez 8, Lambert 18, Caylor 5, Tabor-Fritts 9, Lawrence 6, Ryley 2. Totals 20-46 16-20 57.

ST. JAMES (38)

Keyes 15, Scott 5, Knotts 18. Totals 13-52 9-10 38.


St. James413138-38

Three-point goals - SJPH 1 (Tabor-Fritts), St. James 3 (Keyes, Scott, Knotts).

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