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St. John's Jesuit struck a big blow early, then wore the Northview Wildcats down like erosion last night in taking a 70-49 victory in a Division I boys district semifinal at Savage Hall.
Senior guards Joe Jakubowski and Sean Patterson led the way, scoring 21 and 13 points, respectively, as the Titans ended Northview's budding Cinderella tournament run.
The Wildcats (14-9) had beaten Woodward and Scott of the City League to earn their spot in the district.
Seniors Derek Andrzejczak and Matt Wade paced Northview in defeat with 18 and 14 points, respectively.
The win by the Titans (16-7) sets up what they hope will be a continuation of a recent trend for City League champions in district finals. St. John's will face third-ranked CL champion Libbey (21-1) in tomorrow's 7 p.m. district final here.
In 2005, St. John's won the CL crown and had beaten Scott twice before the Bulldogs upset the Titans for the district title. Last year, Scott won the City championship, beating St. John's twice before being upset by the Titans in the district final.
"That was then and now is now," Heintschel said of the promising trend. "We're just glad that we're still going and we'll play Libbey and see what happens."
St. John's, which never trailed in the game, broke out to a 9-0 lead over the first 3:48 and led 16-8 after one quarter.
The Wildcats found better offensive rhythm in the second quarter, hitting six of their eight shots from the field, but could not pull any closer to the hot-shooting Titans.
"We couldn't afford to come out and shoot poorly the first three minutes of the game because that was going to put us in a hole, and that's pretty much what happened," Northview coach Dennis Shoemaker said.
"We never had a spurt like we've been able to do in the past. We didn't get in sync. We didn't get in a flow. But St. John's had something to do with that."
St. John's went 13-of-23 from the field in the opening half, including 4-of-8 on 3-pointers, and netted all four of its free-throw attempts.
Northview did get within 22-15 on Wade's 15-footer from the right baseline 4:33 before halftime, but Jakubowski answered with seven points in 31 seconds.
Jakubowski meshed a long 3-pointer from the left wing midway in the second period, then converted a rare four-point play 3:29 before halftime. He was fouled by Mike Schaffer on his 3-point shot from above the key and added the free throw for a 29-15 Titan lead.
"Coach told us to deliver the first blow and knock 'em back on their heels and play solid man-to-man defense," Jakubowski said. "We did that tonight and it paid off for us.
"We didn't really blow them away. We just kept playing solid, hit the open man and played St. John's basketball."
St. John's took a 34-24 lead to halftime, but Heintschel was not overly pleased with his team's play outside of the early run.
"We got up 9-0 and it was almost like we got content at that point," said Heintschel, who is now three wins shy of 500 in his 28-year career. "To [Northview's] credit, we couldn't put a whole lot of distance between us and them until the very end."
Northview got within 40-32 with 2:39 left in the third quarter after a free throw from Scott Lewis, but St. John's closed that period with a 10-3 run and took a 50-35 edge to the final quarter on Jakubowski's 15-footer. Northview got no closer than 13 points from there.
"There were some things we didn't do well tonight," Shoemaker said. "We didn't shoot well from the free-throw line, our defensive effort wasn't the best we could've had, and we didn't play as a team tonight."
The Titans were 25-of-43 (58 percent) from the field in the game, 13-of-22 from the line, and dominated Northview 39-19 on the boards.
The Wildcats were 18-of-46 (39 percent) from the field and 12-of-19 from the line.
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