St. John’s Jesuit coach Ed Heintschel had an agenda for the Titans heading into Tuesday night’s Three Rivers Athletic Conference boys basketball contest with crosstown rival St. Francis de Sales.
He wanted to see some consistent play on defense, and they responded by holding the Knights to their second-lowest point output of the season in a 52-32 victory at Savage Arena.
“We’ve been challenging our guys because our defense has been very sloppy and lacking focus, and on some occasions lacking effort,” Heintschel said. “So we challenged them to really button down on defense. I thought we did a pretty good job overall.”
The Titans (15-3, 11-0 TRAC) led from start to finish after opening the game with a 14-2 lead.
Anthony Glover led the Titans with 14 points. Parker Ernsthausen provided 12 points, five boards, and a pair of blocked shots in a game where St. John’s sank 21 of 24 foul shots. Kaleb Vaughn added nine points on three 3-pointers, and Gabe Kynard scored eight.
“St. Francis was coming off a big win [over Findlay], so I’m sure they were geared up for this and were feeling confident, which they should have been,” Heintschel said.
The Knights (5-12, 3-8 TRAC) struggled to find any consistent scoring. Lamar Carswell paced St. Francis with eight points while Dontay Ellison had seven points and seven rebounds.
An 11-point third quarter represented the Knights’ only period in which they reached double-digits.
St. Francis made only 12 of 40 field goals, but was 6 for 8 from the foul line.
“Hats off to St. John’s,” St. Francis coach Travis Lewis said. “The last time we went into the half against them it was a two-point game, and this time they were up 10 points.
“Any time we get down 10 to a team with the type of athletes they have, it’s tough for us to fight back into it.”
Lewis had hoped for a better showing against their longtime rivals, particularly for the senior class that has never beaten St. John’s during the past four seasons.
“I would have loved to see them find a way to beat St. John’s for once in their career, but the grind continues,” Lewis said. “It’s a daily battle.”
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