Wednesday, Jul 27, 2016
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Titans hang on to top Knights

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    St. John's Tim Simmons tries to get by St. Francis' Storm Stanley last night at Savage Hall . Simmons scored nine points.

    <Jeremy Wadsworth


St. John's Tim Simmons tries to get by St. Francis' Storm Stanley last night at Savage Hall . Simmons scored nine points.

Jeremy Wadsworth Enlarge

More than just bragging rights were at stake when City League rivals St. Francis de Sales and St. John s Jesuit took to the floor last night at Savage Hall.

St. Francis went into the game needing the win to keep hope alive for a shot at a spot in the league playoffs on Tuesday.

St. John s required the victory to keep pace with Libbey toremain tied at the top of the league standings.

The outcome ultimately came down to St. Francis Kevin Henry attempting a 3-pointer in the final seconds that rattled out of the basket to allow St. John s to hang on for a 48-46 victory before an enthusiastic crowd.

The Titans (13-5, 10-1), who sank only 13 of 29 foul shots on the night, scored their final three points from the foul line.

It was just a grind it out game, St. John s coach Ed Heintschel said.

There was not much flow to it.

Tim Kynard paced the Titans with 12 points in a contest that left plenty to be desired from an offensive standpoint.


<img src=> VIEW: <a href=" /assets/pdf/TO3863129.PDF" target="_blank "><b>Boys stats, standings</b></a>


Michael Taylor provided 10 points while making only 4 of 10 foul shots and Jay Springs and Tim Simmons added nine apiece for St. John s.

Kynard considered the game against the Knights (12-6, 6-5) as much a must-win game as any they ve played.

It feels really good because this is the rivalry game, said Kynard, who scored his final basket by putting back an offensive rebound to give St. John s a 45-42 lead with 1:54 to play. If we lose to them that s considered the laugh of the year. This was for bragging rights and we have the bragging rights.

Knowing the Knights needed to win the game to have any chance at earning a place in the City League playoff added incentive for the Titans, according to Taylor.

That was extra motivation for us because we didn t want them to get in the final four, he said.

As it turns out, it wouldn t have mattered if the Knights had won because they wouldn t have qualified due to Waite posting a victory last night.

St. Francis coach Nick Lowe said the Knights had opportunities to win the game even before Henry s near-miss 3-point attempt from behind the left elbow with Springs defending him.

A lose ball here, a lose ball there and that game could ve gone either way, Lowe said. They made the last positive play.

Taylor rebounded Henry s miss before he was tied up by a Knight defender, but the possession arrow pointed toward St. John s to allow the Titans to maintain possession of the basketball with less than a second showing on the game clock.

Henry scored 11 points while Jarrod Horton added 10 for St. Francis, which made only 9 of 18 foul shots.

With the Knights trailing 48-46 after St. John s Cheatham Norrils made only 1 of 2 free throws with 26.4 seconds to play in the game, Horton came up short on a 12-footer that could have tied the score with 13.1 seconds to play.

Forced to foul, the Knights sent Taylor to the line and he missed both free throws to set up St. Francis last possession.

Lowe said the plan was to give Henry the Knights best shooter an opportunity toeither drive to the basket or shoot from the perimeter.

We said, if you can get to the rim, get to the rim, Lowe said.

I thought Henry s look was a good look.

"Henry s read was a great read and we took what they wanted to give up.

Contact Donald Emmons at:demmons@theblade.comor 419-724-6302.

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