St. Clair ended play at the Washington Boys Basketball Tournament on a bright note.
After losses to Washington and St. Charles in the first two games, the Bulldogs (5-8) came back to win the seventh-place contest Saturday over seventh-seeded Ft. Zumwalt East, 62-57.
“We did some good things, but not like we’ve been preaching. We played better Monday and Thursday,” said St. Clair Head Coach Casey Korn. “If we played this game in November, we don’t come out with a victory. We’ve gotten tougher.”
Neyko Dominguez led the way for the Bulldogs with 24 points.
“Neyko played within himself. He didn’t try to do too much,” Korn said. “There was one stretch where he tried a little too hard, so we took him out, calmed him down and told him to go back to work. He did a nice job.”
Brandon York finished the game with 12 points.
“Brandon is coming along. He did a nice job in the first half knocking down jump shots,” Korn said. “He does everything we ask him to do. He’s getting better every day.”
Ben Feddersen pitched in with nine points.
“I thought Ben this week played as good of a tournament as I was even expecting,” Korn said. “If he can continue to play with that energy, I’ll be a very happy man.”
Adam Brott scored six points while fighting foul trouble throughout the game.
“Adam is our glue. When Adam plays really well, that’s when everyone else plays well,” Korn said. “He was in foul trouble in this game, but he’s done a very nice job for us.”
Austin Gotway and Reno Jones both scored four points. Evan Murphy had three points.
Logan Coburn led Ft. Zumwalt East (4-9) with 22 points. Devan O’Bryan added 13 points.
Leading 13-9 after one quarter, St. Clair pushed its lead to 30-22 late in the second quarter and led 30-24 at halftime.
With the score tied, the Bulldogs took the lead for good 59-57 on a basket by York with 46 seconds left to play.
Dominguez sealed the win with a pair of free throws with 15 seconds remaining.
“Neyko knocked down his free throws down the stretch like an all-conference point guard needs to do. I was very proud of him for that,” Korn said. “It would have been real tough to go 0-6 in our first two tournaments. We needed this one.”
St. Clair won Monday at home over North County in overtime, 64-59.
Brott tied the game with 1.5 seconds left on an offensive rebound and basket, which sent the game into overtime.
“During that huddle before overtime, I told our guys that we were lucky to get a second chance at the game and we had four minutes to prove ourselves in overtime,” Korn said. “We competed in that overtime period and somehow escaped with a win.”
Dominguez led St. Clair with 18 points. York added 13 points and nine rebounds. Feddersen had 11 points.
Gotway netted seven points. Murphy registered six points. Brott collected four points and eight rebounds. Jones scored three points. Spencer Crumbaugh had two points.
“We came out hitting shots early and getting to the free-throw line, but we lacked some effort and execution on the defensive side of the ball,” Korn said. “We didn’t shoot the ball well at all from behind the arc, but we made the adjustment and started attacking the basket more.”