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SJIT win has meaning for Saints

February 18, 2002

SJIT win has meaning for Saints



By DAN SPEARS
dans@herald-mail.com

St. James Invitational Tournament

Championship

Thomas Johnson 75
Notre Dame 59

THOMAS JOHNSON (75)

Gibbs 8, Thomas 25, Naylor 19, Richard 19, Bryant 4. totals 24-46 19-24 75.

NOTRE DAME (59)

Galloway 12, Posey 14, Haskins 16, Sugars 1, Abraham 4, Barrett 2, Sykes 10. Totals 26-61 3-5 59.

T. Johnson27171912-75

Notre Dame1718177-59

Three-point goals-Thomas Johnson 7 (Thomas 4, Naylor 2, Richard), Notre Dame 4 (Galloway 2, Posey 2).

Third Place

Montrose Christian 54
National Christian 52

MONTROSE CHRISTIAN (54)

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Price 16, Robinson 7, Hiley 5, George 7, Lucas 4, Kleiza 12, Smallwood 2, Ewing 1. Totals 17 17-23 54.

NATIONAL CHRISTIAN (52)

Risby 8, Young 5, Slade 4, Bell 15, Blanks 12. Totals 19 10-13 52.

Montrose16111512-54

National211867-52

Three-point goals-Montrose 3 (Robinson, Hailey, Lucas), National Christian 4 (Risby, Young, Bell, Blanks). Fouled Out-Smallwood, Kaliber (NCA).

Fifth Place

Riverdale Baptist 69
Laurinburg 68

LAURINBURG INSTITUTE (68)

Martin 15, Renliegue 6, Lyles 13, Massago 3, Loundjia 19, Bakhare 3, Coly 9. Totals 29 5-8 68.

RIVERDALE BAPTIST (69)

Thomas 33, Wright 9, Collier 15, Hodges 5, BeBerry 7. Totals 26 15-27 69.

Laurinburg22171217-68

Riverdale14171919-69

Three-point goals-Laurinburg 5 (Martin, Lyles, Massago, Koundjia, Bakhare), Riverdale 2 (Wright, DeBerry). Fouled Out-Koundjia.

Seventh Place

St. James 51
St. John's-PH 46

ST. JOHN'S AT PROSPECT HALL (46)

Richard 10, White 15, Singleton 11, Ryley 2, Battle 8. Totals 15-49 15-22 46.

ST. JAMES (51)

Holzapfel 4, Knotts 24, Monroe 17, Dewey 6. Totals 17-35 10-15 51.

St. John's-PH7141312-46

St. James12101514-51

Three-point goals-St. John's-PH 1 (Richard), St. James 6 (Knotts 3, Monroe 3).



ST. JAMES - In the tournament record books at the St. James Invitational Tournament, Saturday's seventh-place game between St. James and St. John's at Prospect Hall will be little more than another score on a line.

For the Saints, who rallied late for a 51-46 victory, it'll represent a benchmark they won't forget for a long time.

"This is such a good win," St. James coach Wayne Ridenour said. "I'm so happy for these kids. Everybody played so well and everyone played up to his capabilities."

The tournament's two most depth-challenged teams staged a slugfest to open the final day of games. St. James had the game's biggest lead, seven points, and the second half featured several big runs by both sides.

Jared Knotts' 3 to open the fourth quarter gave the Saints (10-10) a 40-34 lead, but St. John's scored the next nine points to go up 43-40 with 2 minutes, 53 seconds to play.

"I was worried," Ridenour said. "We had played so hard. I thought, 'Is this going to sink us?' We just said to not quit, to just go play."

St. James responded with six straight points, and the Vikings (20-8, No. 6 Herald-Mail poll) quickly tied things back up with 49.2 seconds to play. Then St. James freshman Andrew Dewey scored in a crowd with 34 seconds to go for the final lead change of the game. St. John's missed two open 3s down the stretch to seal their fate.

"We put ourselves in that situation again where we needed to hit a big shot to win," St. John's coach Bruce Kelley said. "And we did not."

Brandon Monroe had 17 points and eight rebounds, while Knotts finished with a game-high 24 points and nine rebounds and was named to the All-Tournament team, St. James' first pick to the squad since 1998.

He also finished with 85 points in the tournament, tying him for the 10th-best effort all time.

"He's just such a wonderful kid," Ridenour said. "He played so well this weekend, and so many people don't know it."

Aaron White had 15 points for St. John's, which led its last two games with four minutes to go, but walked away from the weekend with three losses.

"It's extremely disappointing," Kelley said. "Because it all could have been so much better. We had some high hopes coming in here and we put ourselves in a situation to win and we didn't.

"But we've got more games to play."

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> In the fifth-place game, Riverdale Baptist's Orlando Wright hit a 3 from the left corner with 7 seconds to play, giving the Crusaders a 69-68 victory over Laurinburg in a game filled with highlight plays and wild mistakes.

The two teams traded the lead for most of the game. Laurinburg led by 10 midway through the third quarter before Riverside went to its inside tandem of Sheray Thomas and Robert Collier to lead by eight in the fourth quarter. But the Tigers' pressure - and three monster dunks by Tristan Martin - got them back in the game.

With Laurinburg up two and trapping, Riverdale kicked the ball to Wright in the corner, where he calmly drained his shot for the lead. The Tigers raced back down the floor, and Jonathan Lyles found Mark-David Renliegue on the wing for the final shot, which came up short and caromed away at the buzzer.

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