The St. Mary’s Dragons, squeezing in a game prior to the South Side Classic, outlasted the Lift for Life Hawks 44-38 at the SM gym on Saturday night. To watch the replay of this exciting game—
The first quarter was played at a frenzied pace. Each team was playing a very aggressive man/man defense and forcing quick offensive reactions . Scoring the first points of the season for the Dragons was Freshman Tony Burkes on a 15 foot jump shot as the Dragons grabbed the early lead and led throughout the quarter—except for a 4-4 tie. Offensive play continued uneven through most of the quarter as St. Mary’s snatched a 10-7.
The 2nd quarter was the heaviest scoring quarter of the game for both teams as they played to a 15-15 tie for the quarter, making ing 25-22-SM at half. The Hawks got into early foul trouble but the Dragons failed to capitalize on the bonus opportunities. At halftime, the Dragons had balanced scoring as Sr Jared Pudlowski (6), Frosh Yausa Rasas (6), Jr Zach Ortineau (5) and Frosh Tony Burkes (5) led the way for SM. Tony Morrow was the leading scorer of the game at half as he had dropped in 8 points for Lift for Life by the halftime buzzer.
The 3rd quarter was the best quarter of the game for the Dragons Using the hot-hand of Zach Ortenau and the strong rebounding of Frosh Yahuza Rasas, SM outscored the Hawks 14-7 for the quarter. Other contributors with some quality minutes were Soph Drew DeWeese, Jr Melvin Wilson and Soph Alex Sakamoto. Hawks Nigel Ferrell, an 11 ppg player last year, dropped in some terrific driving, floating layups during this quarter. About mid-quarter, lone Sr Jared Pudlowski “turned his ankle” and could not continue. He tried on a couple occasions but just couldn’t do it. It was 39-29 at the end of the quarter.
Missing their SR point guard, the Dragons struggled early in the quarter to get into an offensive rhythm. The Hawks scored the first seven points of the quarter over the first 5 minutes to slice the lead to 39-36. Frosh Tony Burkes, who had assumed the point guard duties in the 4th quarter, hit a 3-ball that whirled around the rim two or three times to break the scoring draught and make it 42-36. Hawks Nigel Ferrell scored on a drive through the defense but miss his FT attempt for the traditional 3-point play—now 42-38. There were turnovers the next two possessions for each team. Then, the Hawks missed on a 3 point attempt and the Dragons missed the front end of a 1 & 1. On the next possession, the Dragons fouled (not in 1 & 1) but were called for a technical. The Hawks missed both of the free throws and miss their shot on the possession. Alex Sakamato concluded the scoring converting both ends of the 1 & 1 in the last 20 seconds of the game-final score 44-38.
Some Statistical leaders for the Dragons were Zach Ortinau (12 points, 2 steals); Yahuza Rasas (8 points, 12 rebounds), Tony Burkes (9 points) and Drew DeWeese (4 points, 4 rebounds). For the Lift for Life team, Tonio Morrow (13 points), Terronce Griffin (8 points, 4 rebounds),Nigel Ferrell (6 points, 2 steals, 2 assists). Coach Kelvin Lee notched his 1st win as the SM Head Coach with the victory.