Northview spoiled senior night for St. Francis de Sales during the regular season.
The Knights returned the favor on Tuesday night when they upset the Wildcats 49-43 in a Division I sectional matchup at Central Catholic.
Jay Snell pumped in a game-high 18 points to lead St. Francis (4-19), which sank 13 of 18 foul shots in the fourth quarter to hold off Northview (13-10).
“We worked for this all year,” Snell said. “Our young guys stepped it up and it was a total team win.”
Alex Calmes, a junior guard, added 10 points and senior forward Patrick Szenderski chipped in with eight to help the Knights remain alive in the tournament. St. Francis will face St. John’s Jesuit on Friday.
“This is huge for our seniors,” St. Francis coach Travis Lewis said. “We’ve had so many games where we were close. We lost six games by five points or less, but this group of seniors have stayed positive all year and this is good to see.”
Springfield took on Bowsher during the second game at Central Catholic, and the Blue Devils hung on to knock off the Rebels 59-53.
PHOTO GALLERY: Knights defeat Wildcats
PHOTO GALLERY: Devils run past Rebels
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The Blue Devils (15-7), who were paced by Dilyn Good’s game-high 18 points — including three 3-pointers — avenged a season-opening loss to the Rebels.
Connor Hartnett and Jeff Czerniakowski led Northview with 13 points apiece in the loss to St. Francis.
However, Northview, which routed St. Francis 64-51 on Feb. 19, struggled to make baskets in Tuesday’s meeting. The Wildcats’ struggles shooting the basketball were most obvious in the third quarter, when they were outscored 10-3.
Furthermore, Snell scored all of the Knights’ points to give St. Francis a 30-26 advantage entering the fourth quarter.
“We just didn’t shoot it,” Northview coach Terry Shadle said. “We didn’t hit shots, and they took took Connor [Hartnett] and Jeff [Czerniakowski] out of it.”
Snell said the Knights were most concerned about playing good defense against the Wildcats, particularly Hartnett and Czerniakowski.
“It feels good for all of the seniors,” Snell said. “We’re just trying to extend our season every game we can.”
The Wildcats took a 23-20 lead over the Knights into halftime, but the Knights made an adjustment in the second half to put more pressure on Northview’s top scoring threats.
St. Francis outplayed Northview in the third quarter. The Knights made it an emphasis to get the ball inside to Snell. The senior forward responded by scoring all of the Knights’ points during the period and outscored the Wildcats on his own, 10-3.
Springfield, which jumped out to an early lead against Bowsher, will play Whitmer on Friday.
The Rebels fell behind the Blue Devils by as much as a 13 points early in the fourth quarter before they cut the deficit to a point to make the Blue Devils nervous.
Anthony Jones added 10 points while Curtis Hassell added nine and Marquan Hodges eight for Springfield.
Dajuan King led the Rebels with a team-high 15 points and Aundre Kizer added 10. Ivan Thomas and Marcus McGovern finished with nine points each.
Springfield’s lead was trimmed to 54-53 when King drained a 3-pointer from 24 feet with 2 minutes, 5 seconds left to play. His basket capped a 14-2 run by the Rebels.
But the Blue Devils didn’t relinquish the lead and closed out the game by scoring the final five points.
“I have to give the kids a lot of credit,” Springfield coach Stan Joplin said. “They have hung in there and have bought into it.
“I’ve had to stay after them. I’ve told them we can beat anybody, but anybody can beat us.”
Good, who attended St. John's Jesuit a year ago, swished a 3-pointer right after King’s long-range shot to give Springfield a 57-53 lead. He also made a pair of foul shots with 5.8 seconds left on the clock.
“Dilyn rebounded and he made some open jump shots,” Joplin said. “When he plays like that we can stretch the floor. He came to play.”
Contact Donald Emmons at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-724-6302 or on Twitter @DemmonsBlade.