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San Antonio, Texas-
In what was only a one point lead for St. Anthony’s at the half, 39-38, the Jackets came out roaring with defense, intensity, and buckets, to separate from Central Catholic on Thursday evening, 79-57.
The Jackets would start the 3rd Quarter on a 12-3 run, spurred by their full court defense. Picking up a quick bucket off of a steal, and Junior Ricardo Valadez would put in a 3-point play on the next possession. During the run, the fab freshman Charles Bassey would throw down a monster two handed dunk on a perfect alley-oop from junior point guard Isiah Saenz.
Small in stature, but Saenz makes up for it with his game. He has legit quickness, great handles, and range well beyond the 3-pt line. He plays the game with a certain moxxy and is the spark plug that drives the engine for St. Anthony’s. He finished with a game high 24 points.
At the end of the 3rd quarter, the game was still very much in tact. Robert Elizondo would drain a 3-ptr from the right corner, right before the buzzer sounded, making it a 53-50 game, with Central right on St. Anthony’s heels. That would be the closest the Buttons would get the rest of the way. The Yellow Jackets would outscore the Buttons, 26-7 in the 4th quarter, essentially pulling away for the 22 point win.
Charles Bassey would be saddled much of the 1st half with two early fouls, a big reason why the game was nip and tuck. His presence on the floor, as expected, completely transformed the game, as Central Catholic was eliminated from scoring in the paint or down low in the second stanza. Unofficially, Bassey finished with 17 points, 8 rebounds and 4 blocks on the night.
With the win, St. Anthony’s moves to 25-5 on the season, while Central Catholic falls to 23-7.
We spoke with the 6’10” freshman after Thursday night’s “W.”
What happened out there in picking up those two quick fouls?
I got two fouls in the first quarter, and I knew my team needs me. I knew my coach wasn’t going to use me until the third quarter, so I needed to do something (from the bench), so I decided to show my team what I was made of.
How did the rivalry against Central Catholic, play into your emotions during the game?
Yeah cause, during the week my teammates have been telling me they’re good. They won last year, so I was let’s go. It’s about us as a team, not an individual game. We worked on everything and teamwork won the game.
During the game, you exceled in the open court. Was it easier for you running up and down, or getting set into your offense against Central?
Coach trains us, I can play the 1,2,3,4 or 5. So now my teammates just tell me to play wherever I’m at. I can come to the top, and now I’m shooting too.
On that fast-break, did you have it planned to go behind the back or was it a spur of the moment thing?
When I started playing basketball, I started with handles, not with post moves. I saw the guy coming towards me, I just went behind the back.
The big man lists programs such as Baylor, Texas, and Incarnate Word as schools that are already on him.