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To advance to the final of the 2A Guerin Sectional, Walther Lutheran and Providence-St. Mel tried different approaches. The Broncos put the ball in the hands of their best player time and time again, hoping he could lead them to victory. The Knights spread the ball around, hoping balance would be the more effective way.
On Tuesday night, it was the consistency and selflessness of Providence-St. Mel that spearheaded a 68-54 victory. Four different Knights scored in double-figures, helping them pull away in the second half.
“It’s very important to be balanced, that’s what we hang our hats on,” said Providence coach Tim Ervin. “When we have everybody scoring and everybody sharing the ball, we’re a very good basketball team. I think tonight proved that.”
Guard Tevin King led the way for the Knights (24-5) with 16 points, doing most of his work after halftime. With sharp drives to the basket and the ability to finish with either hand, King had 13 points in the third and fourth quarters, helping push the lead to as high as 22 midway through the fourth quarter.
King left the game with about two minutes remaining after hitting his head. He was being examined by trainers following the victory.
King was helped by backcourt mates Anthony Mosley (11 points) and Teadric Anderson (12 points) and forward Bernard Lilly, Jr. (12 points) in the scoring column. The Mustangs had no answer for the balance St. Mel displayed offensively, often times rotating to the ball only to see it swing around to an open man for an easy basket.
“We did pretty well offensively,” Mosely said. “It wasn’t our best game of the season, we can do better. But we knew they had a lot of bigs and were pretty slow, so we tried to move the ball, get fast breaks and take advantage of that.”
The game was close early on, but a 13-3 run midway through the second quarter separated the Knights. Ervin felt the defensive work his team did was strong, using a collapsing 3-2 zone to force Walther Lutheran center Jon Fugua (23 points) to work for his baskets, while also limiting the other players on the court.
“We played good, hard-nosed defense,” the coach said. “We rebounded very well for our size, kept control of the boards.”
Providence St. Mel will face the winner of the other semifinal at Guerin–Francis Parker vs. North Shore Country Day–on Friday evening.