Steve Torre scores 29 points as Kellenberg holds off St. John the Baptist
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At Kellenberg, it doesn't matter what position you play. It doesn't matter where you are on the court. It doesn't matter what class you're in.
Just be ready to shoot.
"We have a policy," Kellenberg coach Jack McCutcheon said. "If you have an open shot, you take it."
Kellenberg got plenty of open looks and knocked down plenty of open shots on its way to a key 78-66 CHSAA victory Tuesday night over St. John the Baptist, spoiling Senior Night for the host Cougars.
Sophomore Steve Torre showed upper-class poise for Kellenberg (6-3) by scoring 13 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter. His brother Mike, a junior, added 15 and senior Ryan Durney scored 12 of his 16 in the second half.
But it was the younger Torre who delivered when it mattered most. SJB (6-4), which trailed by as many as 17 in the third, rode the inside shooting of Kyle Williams (20 points) and the outside shooting of Tavon Ginyard (24 points) to get within 54-50 with 5:46 left. Plenty of time to complete the comeback -- if the Cougars could have kept the ball out of Torre's hands.
Torre hit two free throws after a scoop shot, banked one home on a breakaway and converted a tough lefty layup to kick the lead back up to 10 points.
He made sure the explosive Cougars got no closer than nine the rest of the way with another flurry that included two free throws, an up-and-under layup and the dagger -- a three that made it 73-58 with 1:44 left.
"It was all out of the offense. I was getting open and my teammates were getting me the ball," Torre said. "Anyone could've done it."
That was the kid's modesty talking. Truth is, not everyone could've deftly mixed in four three-pointers with a bucket full of layups -- many of them in crunch time. "Steve can take it to the basket and make the open shot," McCutcheon said. "We work on running our lanes on the break and passing as opposed to dribbling against pressure. They kept finding him."
The Firebirds also applied relentless defensive pressure that hurried many of SJB's shots and -- despite the presence of the 6-9 Williams -- had the advantage on the offensive boards.
"We knew we had to keep pushing it -- play pressure team defense and keep rebounding," Torre said.
And, of course, keep shooting.