At a glance
St. Mary’s 63, West 55
It was only three or four third-quarter minutes — but it wasn’t the length of time that mattered.
What mattered was the 14 to 1 run the St. Mary’s boys basketball team put together during that span and the 51-36 lead it gave the Rams entering the fourth quarter on Wednesday. And even though the host Wolf Pack put together a 16-2 streak of their own over 4:33 in the fourth to come within four points with a minute to go, the earlier separation was enough for the Rams to claim sole possession of first place in the Tri-City Athletic League with a 63-55 win at the Den.
“We did a great job other than that three minutes,” said West coach Steve Thornton, whose team dropped its first game in TCAL play and only the second all month — the Wolf Pack finished January at 6-2 overall and 4-1 in league. “We had a stretch there where we turned the ball over and didn’t hustle … and then we came back. It was a four-point game, and we had the ball.”
Of the two game-changing runs between the two teams — both ranked at No. 3 in the latest CIF Sac-Joaquin Section power rankings, West in Division I and St. Mary’s in Division III — West’s was more impressive. The Rams had built an 18-point lead with just over six minutes to play before senior forward Terrance Jones scored 10 of his game-high 28 points and junior Andre Bolton nailed a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 58-54.
”We’re here at West — we knew they weren’t going to go away,” said Rams coach Ken Green, whose team improved to 5-0 in 2007-08 TCAL play and 5-0 all time in TCAL against the Wolf Pack. “We kind of lost our composure there … And (Jones) is just a beast in there. We struggled mightily to contain him.”
West did a good job on sophomore guard and
St. Mary’s top shooter Nick Peterson put in 15 points, including eight during the fatal run.
West had the Rams’ hearts in their mouths and one of the biggest crowds all season on the edge of its seats when they took possession at the 1:22 mark after Nick Copriviza traveled. But the two teams traded steals to wipe crucial seconds off the clock, and when West did get the ball downcourt with a minute to go, the shots didn’t drop.
St. Mary’s (13-8 overall) hit five of six free throws down the stretch to seal it.
West (16-6 overall) hosts Stagg on Friday in the Pack’s annual Slam Jam game.
(S) St. Mary’s 57, West 54
The Wolf Pack (2-3 TCAL) dipped below .500 in league, but the Rams had to come back to make it happen.
Dexter Alcala scored 17 points and Patrick Phillips added 16 as West led by nine at the half. Kevin Santos scored 11 and Marcus Smith added five.
St. Mary’s outscored the hosts 35-23 over the final two quarters.
(F) St. Mary’s 49, West 26
Eight players scored for the Wolf Pack (3-2 TCAL, 12-9) who trailed by seven at the half and 18 entering the fourth quarter.
Gary Lloyd, Jarrard Miles, Ese Izenbigue and Noel Antonio all scored four points each.