Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Defense leads the way for St. Augustine

Knights put away Roneagles in 4th

 By Peter Steinbauer
Contributing writer

St. Augustine outscored McDonogh 35 by 10 in the fourth quarter and recorded a 68-57 victory Monday night in front of a capacity crowd at St. Augustine.

Ahead 44-43 at the end of the third, the Purple Knights' fourth quarter charge didn't feature a standout performance from any one player. Six players scored. Coach Clifford Barthe pinpointed team defense as the deciding factor.

St. Augustine switched into a 1-3-1 half-court press in the fourth and shut down the Roneagles.

"We got them to force up some shots and got the rebounds," Barthe said. "We made some steals and went back and scored some easy baskets."

With just under six minutes remaining, Eldridge Moore picked off a pass and dunked it to give St. Augustine a 51-45 lead. McDonogh 35 (1-2) cut the deficit to four twice over the next four minutes, both times after two made free throws from Kristoff Walker.

The Purple Knights (3-0) pulled ahead by eight with baskets from Moore and Sydie London. St. Augustine's Keenen Hayes then made one of two free throws at the 1:06 mark. Offf the miss, London grabbed the offensive rebound and tipped it in to give the Purple Knights a 64-53 lead.

"Our team is built around everyone playing and everyone doing their jobs," Barthe said. "If you look at the box scores from our two previous games, it's very balanced. It's supposed to be everybody contributing."

London scored 22 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Moore had 13 points.

Walker had 14 points for McDonogh 35. Jerome Keiffer also scored 14.

"We didn't get as much ball movement in the fourth quarter as we did earlier," McDonogh 35 Coach Kevin Sanders said. "We weren't attacking the goal. We were basically standing around as opposed to moving in the flow of the offense."

St. Augustine took a 14-13 lead after the first quarter. Brandon Lain and London each hit 3-pointers in the quarter. McDonogh 35 responded with 3-pointers from Keiffer.

The teams played a back-and-forth second quarter. The Purple Knight's Devante Jones tied the score at 27 before halftime with a lay up following a steal.

McDonogh 35 took a six-point lead with four minutes in the third quarter after a 3-pointer from Roland Celestine. But after a timeout, St. Augustine ended the quarter on a 10-4 run to take a one-point lead into the fourth. London had five points during the run.

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