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Patience, ball movement and shot selection.
Against a very long, very athletic St. Rita team, the game plan was simple for St. Ignatius Friday.
Be patient, keep moving the ball and hold out for the perfect shot.
Executing that game plan to perfection, St. Ignatius pulled off an upset on the road, squeaking out a 42-38 win over No. 17 St. Rita in a Catholic League North matchup.
“We knew it would be a challenge, and it would have to be a grind-it-out type of game if we wanted to win,” St. Ignatius’ Lester Larry said. “We can have trouble scoring, and we knew they were a very strong team. We’re really young.”
Larry (14 points) and Connor Cronin (10 points) led a balanced attack for St. Ignatius (5-0, 1-0). Charles Matthews and Dominique Matthews scored 10 points apiece for St. Rita (3-2, 0-1).
“Ignatius just stuck to that game plan,” St. Rita coach Gary DeCesare said. “Guys have to bring it every night. This league is too good.”
St. Ignatius held a 24-15 halftime lead thanks to its clock-killing, ball movement oriented offense. The St. Rita run finally came in the third quarter as the Mustangs outscored Ignatius 15-5 in the frame. Charles Matthews’ inside bucket at the buzzer gave Rita its first lead since 5-2.
In a fourth quarter that featured five lead changes, the Woflpack had the last laugh.
Riley Doody (six points) scored off a press break to give Ignatius the lead for good at 38-37 with Cronin adding an easy layup off a Rita defensive breakdown.
Larry hit two free throws in the final minute to ice the game.
“We were fine going down in that situation,” Doody said. “We knew we could win the game. We just had to have confidence.”
Dominique Matthews split two free throws for St. Rita with 38 seconds left in the game and committed two turnovers in the final minute.