Boys Hoops: Saints' second-half surge sufficient

January 12, 2012|By BRETT NIEVES | Staff Correspondent
  • Saint James' Obi Enechioyia (35) brings down a rebound next to St. Andrew's Patrick Collins (33) during Thursday's Mid-Atlantic Conference boys basketball game.
By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer

ST. JAMES — Thursday night’s boys basketball game between Saint James and St. Andrew’s was competitive until the second half started.

The Saints used a 34-point third quarter to build a decisive edge over the Lions and went on to an 84-54 victory behind a double-double by Obi Enechionyia, who scored 23 points and grabbed 15 rebounds.

“We underestimated (St. Andrew’s) in the first half,” Saint James coach Paul Easton said. “(St. Andrew’s) plays hard and is well-coached, but we were able to refocus at the half and turn up the intensity.”

The Saints (6-5, 2-2 Mid-Atlantic Conference) led 38-30 at the half and started their 34-point third quarter with a 12-4 run over the first two minutes. The Lions (9-6, 0-3) used a timeout, but things didn’t get any better for them as Saint James began to score at will.

“This is a credit to our guys; it’s our third game in five days,” Easton said.

Obi Enechionyia led the charge for Saint James, but he had plenty of help as the other four starters scored the other 61 points for Saint James.

Avery Willmore scored 18 points for the Saints, Obi’s brother, Nnamdi Enechionyia, scored 17 points and Emmett Orfan and Fred Slater each finished with 13.

“We’re short-handed right now,” Easton said. “One of the guys tore his meniscus and we have some other injuries, but we played well tonight.”

Obi Enechionyia started the game off on the right foot as he scored 12 of his 23 points in the first quarter. He finished the first half with 15.

“(Obi) is just a sophomore, but he has bought in to what we do here,” Easton said. “He has a chance to be real special.”

The only fault in Saint James’ performance was its perimeter defense in the first half. St. Andrew’s capitalized on its long-range opportunities in the opening 16 minutes, nailing eight 3-pointers to stay in the game.

The Saints’ defense made the right adjustments and limited the Lions to four 3-pointers in the second half.

“We did not do a good job in the first half guarding 3s,” Easton said. “The defense in the second half caused (St. Andrew’s) to take a lot of bad shots.

Armon Tzadpanah led St. Andrew’s with 18 point — including five 3-pointers — and Kevin Stafford finished with 14 points, all in the first half.

Saint James 84, St. Andrews 54
Tzadpanah 18, Consor 15, Stafford 14, Collins 5, Alinsaya 2. Totals 20 2-4 54.
SAINT JAMES (6-5, 2-2)
O. Enechionyia 23, Wilmore 18, N. Enechionyia 17, Orfan 13, Slater 13. Totals 32 16-21 84.
St. Andrews    13    17    9    15    —    54
Saint James     21    17    34    12    —    84
3-point goals — St. Andrews 12 (Tzadpanah 5, Stafford 4, Consor 2, Collins). Saint James 2 (Orfan, Wilmore).

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