If you're a guru in calculus, stand by because the CHSAA might need you soon. St. John the Baptist defeated St. Anthony's, 51-45, Tuesday night to make the race for first in the league interesting. SJB and Kellenberg are now tied for first at 8-2. The teams split the two meetings. St. Anthony's is 7-2 and split with SJB. Kellenberg defeated St. Anthony's the first time the teams met and they play each other Tuesday.
It's possible that there could be a three-way tie for first and then tiebreakers come into play. What makes this more crucial than any other league is that the top two teams play in the CHSAA AA state playoffs and the teams that place third through fifth go to Class A. That is a huge difference because playing in AA means facing teams like St. Michael Academy, Christ the King, St. Peter's and Bishop Ford and that's an arduous task.
The game at SJB was a game of spurts. It was an even first quarter, SJB dominated the second and St. Anthony's controlled the third. SJB took the fourth quarter with a 15-6 advantage.
Once again, the Cougars' pressure defense late in the game was instrumental. SJB held down Kellenberg two weeks ago in the final few minutes to pull out a win after trailing the entire game and against the Friars, the Cougars trailed or were tied most of the second half until Brianna Thomas hit two free throws for a 47-45 lead with 1:09 left.
SJB held the Friars without a point in the final 4:50. Another big difference in the game was SJB winning the battle on the boards, 58-26.
A good scene was when the Friars came off the court following warmups. As they headed towards their bench, they were surprised and happy to see teammate Kerrin Maurer. She was sitting in a wheelchair and made her first appearance at a game since suffering two hip fractures and a broken ankle in a car accident Jan. 21. Four Friars were involved, including Symone Kelly, who played for the first time since the accident. Maurer is out for the season.
For more on the game, click the link.