Redemptorist holds off Gators’ rally down stretch

Peter Silas Pasqua
St. Amant’s Justin?Manton converts in between’s Redemptorist’s James Harris and Nico Talbert in the third quarter of the Wolves’ 66-61 victory Thursday night at the Gold Dome.

ST.?AMANT?– St. Amant rallied from a 16-point deficit to Redemptorist to cut it to as close as two points but ultimately faltered 66-61 in a non-district loss Thursday night at the Gold Dome.

Mileke Beasley drove coast to coast with 1:08 left to play to cut the deficit to 61-59 but Deuce Coon scored the next four points to deliver the Wolves’ victory.

Redemptorist went ahead 33-17 in the second quarter when Nico Talbert fed Coon off a steal and 47-31 in the third frame when Talbert fed Coon for a 3-pointer off an inbounds pass.

“We did a good job of putting ourselves in position to win the game but we can’t self destruct down the stretch,” St. Amant head coach Gary Duhe said. “We just have to execute better. When it got down to crunch time there were two possessions where we didn’t execute. In a close game that is going to be the difference. This is going to be just like it will be the next 10 games in district.

“The first quarter we allowed them to play like they wanted to play. The last three quarters we made them play like we wanted to play and that is a big difference. We can’t match them bucket for bucket. They threw in some threes but we finally started taking care of the ball, attacking on offense and kept the game manageable because we played some good defense.”

Steve Fulkerson led St. Amant (5-15) with 18 points, while Justin Manton added 17. Beasley, Jacky Joseph and Marlon Bourgeois each provided eight.

Coon had a game-high 28 points for Redemptorist (10-13). James Harris added 16, while Gervaughn McGhee provided 10, Jeremy Hill had seven and Talbert chipped in five.

“We allowed them to get some confidence and stopped doing the things we needed to do defensively,” Redemptorist head coach Tim Wallen said. “We thought the game was over and kind of lost our focus and intensity. We allowed them to make some easy baskets and stopped defending.”

Redemptorist cracked the scoreboard 2:15 into the contest when Josh Thomas nailed a 3-pointer from the left corner off an inbounds. Manton answered from the top of the key but McGhee’s 3-pointer from the left corner put the Wolves ahead for good.

Joseph’s layup of Fulkerson’s block preceded Hill’s baseline floater and McGhee’s and one off a steal. Beasley’s dish to Bourgeois in transition cut it to 11-7 before McGhee’s 3-pointer from the left wing and Coon’s lay up off a steal.

McGhee’s free throw made it 23-11 going into the second quarter after Talbert fed Coon twice for 3-pointers on the left wing sandwiching Fulkerson’s dish to a driving Manton.

Coon drained another 3-pointer from the left corner to open the second quarter before Beasley’s putback. Talbert’s 3-pointer preceded Jacob Gauthier’s baseline drive before Harris’ layup off a steal and Manton’s 19-footer.

Manton’s jumper capped a 7-0 St.?Amant run to cut it to 33-25 after six straight points by Joseph. McGhee’s free throw gave Redemptorist a 37-27 halftime lead after Harris’ and one and Bourgeois’ baseline drive.

Harris’ and one layup off a block opened the second half before Manton’s pump fake, Hill’s turnaround jumper inside and Coon’s floater in the lane.

Bourgeois’ dish to Fulkerson inside cut it to 47-42 capping an 11-0 St. Amant run kickstarted by Gauthier’s dish to the big fellow off a steal. Fulkerson also converted five free throws in the stretch before Beasley’s shake and bake.

Fulkerson’s free throw made it 52-44 going into the final frame after Hill’s turnaround jumper but Talbert fed Coon for a 3-pointer on the right wing to open the quarter.

Manton’s 3-pointer from the right wing cut it to 57-51 after his turnaround jumper, McGhee’s dish to Harris off a steal and Beasley’s layup in transition.

Fulkerson’s baseline jumper with 2:05 left to play made it 60-57 after Bourgeois’ transition buckets sandwiched Coon’s 19-footer from the top of the key.

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St. Amant’s Steve Fulkerson attempts a shot over Redemptorist’s Jeremy Hill in the third quarter of the Wolves’ 66-61 victory Thursday night at the Gold Dome.