By Peter Steinbauer
Jesuit held a four-point lead against West Jefferson at the start of the fourth quarter, but its top-two scorers were sitting on the bench. Late in the third, Colby Keiffer tweaked his ankle, and Brady Hadden(pictured right) picked up his fourth foul.
But the Blue Jays extended their lead to eight in the opening minutes of the fourth with baskets from Josh Dudley and Alec Melendreras. Jesuit went on to defeat the Bucs 56-48 for a semifinal win at the Stanley Ray Jesuit Invitational Tournament.
"I turned to Brady and said, 'how are we going to score,' " Jesuit Coach Chris Jennings said. "And then Josh got the lay up, so that was good, that was the turning point."
Hadden returned several minutes into the fourth, scoring eight points to help put away the game. He finished with 19 points. Keiffer paced Jesuit for much of the night, scoring 22 points. He was 3-of-6 from behind the 3-point line. The Blue Jays are trying to adjust without their top returning player, senior Dominick Scelfo, who will miss at least the next month after having surgery to repair a torn meniscus.
West Jefferson (1-1) Coach Rusty Jones said with only one returning starter, his team still is learning how to play the game. The Bucs trailed for much of the game, but they stayed within five until the fourth quarter. Kadeem Allen led West Jefferson with 10 points. Erik Hanneman added eight points.
Jesuit (2-1) will play Ehret in the final today at 8 p.m
EHRET 44, MANDEVILLE 43
O.C. Tart made one of two free throws with 18 seconds remaining to give the Patriots (4-0) a one-point lead. On the game's final possession, Mandeville's Zach Adema forced a shot that fell short of the backboard. Mandeville (5-1) took a four-point lead several minutes into the fourth before Ehret took a two-point lead with two minutes remaining with a 6-0 run. Gregory Lewis had two baskets, and Jerremy Coleman had one during the run that put Ehret ahead for good.
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