St. Clair made a game of it, but couldn’t get over the top in a 69-60 loss to Cardinal Ritter Friday in the consolation semifinals of the 60th Annual St. Francis Borgia Thanksgiving Tournament.
The eighth-seeded Bulldogs (0-3) trailed by as many as 15 points midway through the third quarter, but cut the lead to 61-56 with 1:26 left in the game before falling by the final nine-point margin.
“We competed. I think we played a little scared in the first game against McCluer North,” said St. Clair Head Coach Casey Korn. “We played better. We played until the horn sounded in the end. I told them to keep battling and they did. I was proud of the way they worked.”
Neyko Dominguez led three Bulldogs in double figures with 16 points to go with six assists. He was 10-13 from the free-throw line.
Dominguez represented St. Clair on the all-tournament team.
“Neyko got to the line. That’s how he scored most of his points,” Korn said. “He needed to have a nice game. He’s been pressing a little bit. It’s his senior year. I think he tried to do too much in the first game.”
Brandon York finished with 12 points on 5-7 shooting and grabbed six rebounds.
“York played much better,” Korn said. “He rebounded the ball well and got some baskets.”
Evan Powell added 10 points on 5-6 shooting.
Reno Jones registered seven points and five rebounds.
Will Rolley finished with six points. Adam Brott added five points and seven rebounds. Evan Murphy scored four points.
Ben Feddersen, Spencer Crumbaugh and Austin Gotway also played.
“Our offense looked pretty good when we ran it. We want to get up and down. We work on it. That’s all we worked on at our Thanksgiving practice was breaking the press,” Korn said. “We were more relaxed and more calm. We knew we could handle the pressure. Once we scored early, we calmed down and started to play. We were in it all the way.”
Charles Jones paced Cardinal Ritter with 23 points and nine rebounds. He represented the Lions on the all-tournament team.
Jamarr Luckett added 13 points. Isaiah Williams had nine points and nine rebounds.
The two teams combined for 54 fouls, which meant there were many free-throw attempts.
Fourth-seeded Cardinal Ritter (2-1) was 22-39 from the free-throw line. St. Clair was 21-29.
Trailing 20-16 after one quarter, St. Clair cut the lead to 31-28 on a basket by Powell with 2:30 left in the second quarter.
The Lions responded when Luckett drilled three-pointers on consecutive possessions to increase their lead to 37-28.
Ritter held a 41-32 halftime advantage.
“We knew we had to rebound the basketball and couldn’t give up layups,” Korn said. “No. 44 (Luckett) came down and hit a couple of threes in a row right when we made it a three-point game.”
Trailing 47-32 with 5:20 left in the third quarter, the Bulldogs began to chip away.
St. Clair trailed 50-40 after three quarters, 54-47 with 4:10 left to play and 61-56 with 1:26 remaining on the clock.