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With 30-seconds left and a two-point lead, De La Salle had the ball and a chance to force visiting St. Joseph to foul. The Meteors were 12-for-13 from the line in the fourth quarter.
Instead, the young Meteors made a youth mistake, forcing up a shot, missing and giving the Chargers a chance at the eighth lead change of the quarter. Jordan Ash made sure of that immediately, driving the lane and eventually converting on a three-point play.
The Chargers escaped, scoring the last six points of the game, good for a 67-65 Catholic North win.
“We just wanted to play defense and I don’t think they did what they wanted to do,” Ash said. “I just wanted to attack and luckily I was able to get the ball off the backboard the right way and make the play.”
Ash finished with a team-high 21 points, while teammate Glynn Watson scored 17 of his 19 points in the second half. Nick Rakocevic had eight of his 10 in the first half for the No. 9 Chargers (6-0, 2-0).
Karl Harris had 22 points to lead the Meteors (2-4, 0-2), while Brandon Hutton added 14 and Tyler Lewis chipped in 12 off the bench. The Meteors rallied back twice, down 10 during the second period, and 11 early in the third.
“I thought we battled the entire game and I thought we executed,” De La Salle coach Tom White said. “It was one of those up and down games. It came down to the end we made one bad possession and it cost us.”
The Chargers appeared to take control in the second quarter when a Watson basket completed an 11-0 run for a 23-14 lead. The Meteors recovered with a half-ending 14-6 run to close within 33-30.
An 8-0 run to start the third put the Chargers pushed the lead to 41-30, but by the end the quarter the Meteors closed within 48-47 to start what would be a wild fourth quarter.
“We held together at the end and the bottom line you have to win the game and that’s what we did,” St. Joseph Gene Pingatore said.