BY ALBERT ROMAN
St. Peter’s varsity basketball team eliminated St. Francis Prep in the first round of the Catholic High School Athletic Association playoffs with a 71-56 victory on Feb 26.
Sophomore Chris Ledlum fueled the Eagles with 18 points. All-League Team senior Liam Sanborn added 15 points including two three pointers, while juniors Ryan Conroy and Jordon Fox combined for 24 points. The Eagles had a total of nine players score, including four players in double digits.
The first round of the playoffs matchup began with St. Peter junior Kaleb Hicks gaining possession for the team. He proceeded to receive a pass from Ledlum as he cut to the basket for a layup to jump to an early lead. Sanborn followed with a layup and a three pointer to give the Eagles a 7-0 lead.
Senior Jayden Sutton ended the scoring drought for St. Francis with a three pointer of his own. The team struggled to score in the first quarter and the misses continued to add up. The Eagles took advantage and used a 7-2 run to build a 17-9 lead.
Sutton opened the second frame scoring the Terriers’ first six straight points. Both teams traded scores until a three pointer by sophomore Chris Clancy with 1:30 remaining before the half gave the Eagles their first double-digit lead of the game. The Eagles went into halftime with a 10-point lead, 33-23.
St. Peter’s opened up the third frame with a quick three pointer and layup causing St. Francis head coach Tim Leary to call a 30 second timeout. The Eagles stifling defense helped them push their lead further. An impressive block by Ledlum began a fast break in which Fox scored. Conroy rewarded Ledlum a few plays later with an assist on a layup, building a 46-28 lead with 2:40 remaining in the quarter.
Sophomore Justin Hendrick began to cut the 18-point deficit by hitting three consecutive three pointers. The Terriers now trailed by nine with 47 seconds remaining. Ledlum responded with a layup to end the 9-0 run.
Conroy proceeded to score a layup and draw a foul with 5.7 seconds. He sank the free throw and ended the period for the Eagles with a 51-40 lead.
Fox opened up the final period by scoring a three pointer, his second of the game. A score by Sutton cut the lead to 14, but the Terriers were unable to gain any more ground.
Five consecutive free throws and a score by junior Kyle Hoffman gave the Eagles a 19-point lead, their largest of the game.
St. Peter outscored St. Francis 38-33 in the second half. Both teams were able to shoot the ball from three as they combined for a total of 11 three pointers made.
The Terriers were unable to take a lead and trailed the entire game. Hendrick led all scorers with 23 points, while Sutton added 14 points. The Terriers end their season with an 8-18 record.
The eight seeded Eagles will continue their playoff hunt against fourth seeded All Hallows at St. Raymond’s on March 2.