St. John’s/Tipton over the Knights, 68-46
The St. John's/Tipton Blujays relied on a relentless defense and depth to forge a 68-46 victory that wasn't as close as the final score.
All three Jays, Brandon Bates, Braden Dameron and Brady Palen (the killer B's) scored in double figures with defense for the win.
"We had an excellent first quarter and that was big for us," Blujay Head Coach Lance Bergmann.
Dameron opened the scoring for the Jays with a three pointer followed by a Kail Dubbert three point shot. A Bates free-throw was followed by a three pointer from the Knights. Palen answered with a basket that led to Jays to a nine point run. Bates led with seven points, leading the Jays for the 20-5 lead at the end of the quarter.
During the first two thirds of the second quarter, the Knights tried to claw their way back into the game. They cut a 15 point lead down to 9 points before the Jays closed out the quarter with five points, extending their lead to 31-17.
The third quarter started the killer bees providing the points. Dameron started with a basket, followed by Bates and Palen to push the Jays lead to 20. After a Knights three point shot, the Jays went on a 12 point run that pushed their lead to 29. During the third quarter, both Dameron and Bates scored eight points, leading the Jays to a 52-27 lead at the end of the quarter.
The start of the fourth quarter saw the Knights cut the lead to 18. Seven straight points by Palen around a Knights basket pushed the lead back to 23, ruining any hopes of a comeback. Coach Bergmann started going deeper into his bench to finish the game and the Jays claimed a 68-46 victory.
"After the excellent first quarter. I thought we played extremely well coming out of halftime," said Bergmann. "Our bench was able to play huge for us again, since we were in early foul trouble. Brandon shot the ball very well, which allowed other open shots. Outside of fouling, we played good defense for most of the game. I am happy to see us figuring things out at this time of the year."
The Jays had three players in double figures, led by Brandon Bates with 22 points. He also had 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 4 steals. He was followed by Braden Dameron with 16 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal. Brady Palen joined them in double figures with 11 points, 12 rebounds, 1 steal, and 2 blocks. Kail Dubbert just missed double figures with 8 points, 2 rebounds, 2 steals, Dalton Schmitt also had 8 points, and 4 rebounds, Eric Keoningsman had 2 points, 2 rebounds, 2 steals, and Anthony Henke had 1 point, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists.
With the victory the Jays record now stands at 12-3.