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Conin guides St. Ignatius past St. Patrick

02/22/2013, 9:53pm CST
By Rob Valentin

Connor Cronin scored 24 points to lead St. Ignatius to a 48-44 road win over St. Patrick Friday night.

St. Ignatius senior Connor Cronin missed his first two shots on Friday night, but he kept on shooting.

It’s a good thing he did.

The 6-foot-2 forward dropped 24 points on the St. Patrick, including five three-pointers, to lead the Wolfpack to a 48-44 nonconference victory.

“Our coaches tell me to keep shooting and not lose confidence if I miss my first couple shots,” said Cronin who finished the night 8-for-12 and 5-for-8 from beyond the arc. “Once one falls you start to feel it and then eight or nine fall.”

St. Ignatius (16-11) trailed 36-33 to start the fourth but Cronin took over and single-handedly out scored St. Patrick (17-9) in the quarter by a margin of 10-8.

Cronin’s trey with 3:44 left knotted the game up at 42-42. A three-pointer by Lester Larry (nine points) gave the Wolfpack a 45-42 advantage with 1:28 remaining and a field goal from Cronin with 31.2 seconds left helped cement the win.

“He had a lot of open threes, wide-open shots we didn’t choose to contest,” said Shamrocks’ guard Royale Ewing, who finished the night with a team-high 15 points. “We just weren’t making that third effort and those are the ones that led to wide-open looks.”

St. Patrick took a 15-11 lead into the second quarter thanks to a buzzer-beating three-pointer by Nicholas Coleman (10 points).

Coleman’s trey thirty seconds into the second quarter pushed the lead to seven points, the Shamrocks’ biggest of the night. The rest of the second quarter belonged to the Wolfpack, specifically Cronin. The senior scored nine points in the period, including a pair of three-pointers to give St. Ignatius a 25-22 halftime advantage.

The Shamrocks warmed up in the third quarter hitting six of seven shots in the period for a 36-33 advantage heading to the fourth.

The Wolfpack and Shamrocks will both spend this weekend preparing for the state playoffs, which kick-off next week.

“We’re a three-seed and the regional is at home, so we’re looking to have an advantage,” Cronin said. “If we can win regionals there’s going to be some Catholic School teams in sectionals and we know them pretty well.”

For St. Patrick, the focus is on fixing the defense.

“We have to do a better job playing defense,” Ewing said. “Teams aren’t going to just let us win.”

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