seniors search for another state championship title

Price Bryan, Overall Editor

As the game clock struck zero and the buzzer sounded, the SA students were chanting “na-na-hey-hey-goodbye” and at center court, assistant coach Jemario Rugley was in tears as the Saints captured their first basketball state title in school history. However, memories of last year’s trophy are in the distant past, and the boys basketball team isn’t slowing down at all this year, as they are well on their way to another successful run.

The SA Boys Basketball team came away with the victory over Crystal Springs in the semi-final round of the district tournament Thursday night by a score of 53-49. The game was not an easy one to win as Crystal Springs led by eleven at one point in the fourth quarter, but the Saints were able to overcome that deficit.

The team was led by Rashad Bolden who scored 18 points and hit two clutch free throws in the final minute of the game to give the team a four-point lead that they would not lose. Junior post player Arness Georgetown also scored twelve points to help outscore Crystal springs 19-8 in the fourth quarter. Sophomore Larry Day also played a major role in the Saints’ victory as he added seven points and five steals.

“Another big part of the team is our bench play,” Junior Forward Noel Wiggs said. “We have so much more depth as a team this year than we did last year, and the younger guys are really stepping up in the big moments.”

The Saints are starting to gain momentum heading into the playoffs as they have won four straight games after dropping two close district games in overtime. The team graduated most of the starting lineup from the previous year, including Dartmouth Signee Garrison Wade, and it has taken some time for the Saints to find their stride.

“We’ve adjusted better than I thought we would,” Head Boys Basketball Coach Brian Cronin said. “The young guys stepped up. I think the culture of basketball at St. Andrew’s has gotten to the point where people want to win and they expect to, so they are willing to do what it takes.”

Senior leadership has also contributed in the team’s run so far this year. Providing sparks on offense and defense, Will Atkins and William Harkless have consistently produced down the stretch.

“Seniors Will Atkins and Jake Monk have really filled in nicely,” Cronin said. “Will can shoot the ball. I need him to hit his shots and play great defense. He has been a wonderful surprise addition to the team.”

The boys basketball team will travel to Raleigh to take on the Velma Jackson Falcons in the district tournament championship this Friday. Velma Jackson is the number one team in the district, so the Saints should be expecting a tough game.


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