Friday, Jan. 28, 2011
By Chris Pellizzari
St. Ignatius and Hales both entered Fridays Catholic League North showdown at Hales with conference championship hopes.
The Spartans outlasted St. Ignatius for a 67-64 overtime victory. Overtime was a microcosm of the entire game: nothing came easy and both teams had to dig deep.
Dominique Walls led No. 6 Hales (16-3, 7-1) with 16 points, including a rebound and dunk that got overtime started with a bang and gave the Spartans a 58-56 lead.
But before the Hales fans could get too excited, Wolfpack guard Truman Tiernan hit a mid-range jumper to tie the game at 58.
Walls had to step up without Eddie Alcantara (disciplinary reasons) and Aaric Armstead (sick). Walls got free off an inbound play, sliced down the lane and laid the ball with a finger roll to make it 60-58 with 2:25 remaining in overtime.
Then Walls stole a St. Ignatius pass and passed the ball to Aaron Armstead for a layup.
Aaron Armstead also was battling sickness, but you couldnt tell as he scored 15 points.
We knew we were the favorites, we had players out with sickness, Aaron Armstead said. We needed someone to step up, and thats what I tried to do.
St. Ignatius junior guard Brian Howard (17 points) hit a three-pointer with 15 seconds in regulation to send the game into overtime. With 54 seconds left in overtime and the Wolfpack (12-6, 5-2) trailing 63-60, Nnanna Egwu (18 points, nine rebounds) hit a mid-range jump shot.
After two Armstead free throws, Egwu grabbed a rebound off a Howard shot and laid it in to cut the Hales lead to 65-64 with 26 seconds left. But that was as close as the Wolfpack would get.
This win does a lot for our confidence, Hales coach Gary London said. We knew others had to step up today.