The St. Mary’s Rams prevailed against the West High boys in a high-energy game Wednesday, Jan. 22, in West’s Steve Thornton Gymnasium.
The Rams won it 78-69 and led for most of the game after a back-and-forth first quarter.
St. Mary’s (16-2, 3-0 Tri-City Athletic League) led by as much as 10 points at the end of the first half and again at the start of the fourth, but West (13-7, 2-1 TCAL) cut the Rams’ advantage to one point in the fourth on a 3-point shot by senior guard Kenneth Daye.
“Coach (Derek Sprecksel) told us that we had to be aggressive in the second half, because we hadn’t been as aggressive as we could have been,” Daye said.
Daye was the game’s scoring leader with 32 points. His opportunities from the free-throw line — where he made 19 of 23 shots, mostly in the second half — testified to the aggressive offense the Wolf Pack put up.
“We had to be scrappy and work hard,” senior forward Anthony Ross said. “We just wanted to try to get this W. We’ll get it next time. If we keep that intensity for the rest of the year, we’ll do real good.”
St. Mary’s also benefited from foul calls, as the Rams’ top scorer, Gabriel Vincent, hit 9 of 11 free throws to contribute to his 23 points.
Sprecksel figured Vincent could have scored a lot more if the West defense hadn’t focused on him. The Rams compensated with three other players scoring in the double digits.
“When you defend a guy like Vincent, some of the other guys are going to get looks,” Sprecksel said, adding that it his team still showed a strong defensive effort.
“It’s just part of the way these guys compete,” he said. “They fought all the way through. It bodes well for the rest of league.”
Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or firstname.lastname@example.org.