Vikings one step away from being first Ohio team to win title in each division
Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph 55, Columbus Ready 40
A lot of games are won and lost in the 4th quarter, and such was the case on Friday morning inside the Jerome Schottenstein Center as powerful Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph closed like thoroughbreds out scoring a very good Columbus Bishop Ready (21-6) squad 15-5 in the final frame to pull away for a, 55-40, victory.
Ready held a, 24-22, advantage in the late stages of the 1st half before a Simon Texidor IV triple allowed the Vikings to regain the lead. Junior Brian Parker, a co-DIII Player of the Year, finished the half with a transition lay-in at the horn to give VASJ a 27-24 lead at the break.
The Vikings (22-7) raced out of the gates to start the 3rd quarter, but the Silver Knights quietly closed the gap to, 40-35, by the end of the period thanks to a senior Kelly Culbertson three-point goal at the buzzer.
Parker scored six points in the 3rd and junior Maurice “Mo” Johnson produced a couple sweet drive-in baskets. Ready got points from five different players in the stanza.
With Ready crowding the paint ,in hopes of limiting juniors Carlton Bragg (6-9) and Derek Pardon (6-8), the stage was left open for Parker and Johnson to shine. Johnson, who came into the contest averaging just two points per contest, tallied 11 points, eight rebounds, and four assists. Parker, a physical left-handed guard, paced the Vikings with 17 points and 10 rebounds. The 6-foot-2 junior did most of his damage in the 2nd half scoring 12 points.
Bragg was limited to 11 points on 3-of-6 shooting and snatched five rebounds. Pardon, who was very active on the defensive end blocking five shots, finished with nine points and five rebounds
Ready, who shot just over 28 percent from the floor, was bothered by the size and length of the talented Vikings. The Silver Knights didn’t have a player reach double-figures, but eight players scored at least three points led by UMASS Lowell signee Josh Gantz with seven. Seniors Culbertson and Shane Lee evenly split 12 counters.
Seniors Alec Holt, sixth man Matt Yoho, and Myles Fowler each had five points.
VASJ was 15-of-19 from the free throw line compared to just 2-of-5 for the Silver Knights.
Stat of the Game
Bishop Ready was 6-of-31 from the field in the 2nd half.
Player of the Game
Brian Parker scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
Cleveland VASJ was just too big and too long for a solid Ready team. The Vikings methodically put this game away by limiting Ready to mainly perimeter jumpers.
Photos by Gary Housteau (JJHuddle.com/Bucknuts.com)