Blujay boys comeback win over the Stangs

Friday night, the St. John's/Tipton Blujays dug themselves a hole and at one point in the first half trailed by 11 points. They made the adjustments on defense, started hitting some shots and when the dust had settled had clawed their way to a 57-51 victory over the the Mustangs.

Sylvan Lucas is one of the few teams that can match the depth of St. John's/Tipton. The Blujays advantage was team speed and defensive quickness along with a couple of players who possess great jumping ability. They also possess a team with some great outside shooters. After falling behind in the first half, the Jays relied on their advantages to fight their way back into the game in the third quarter. And then to pull ahead and win the game in the fourth quarter.

St. John's/Tipton opened with a three pointer by Ty Brummer and a basket by Garrett Darnell for the Jays a 5-0 lead. That didn't last long as the Mustangs went on a 12 point run to claim a 12 -5 lead. The three pointer by Adam Bates and a basket by Braden Dameron closed the lead to two points. The teams then traded baskets for the rest of the quarter and the quarter ended with the Mustangs leading 18 -16.

The second quarter started with a three pointer by Dameron, giving the Jays a one-point lead. The Mustangs then started pounding the ball inside. For every basket the Jays made, the Mustangs got two or three and late in the first half they had forged a 38-27 lead. 

Two free throws by Dameron at the end of the first half sent the teams to the locker room with the Mustangs leading 38-29.

The Jays dialed up there full court press another notch and made some adjustments on their inside defense in the third quarter play. The result was that the Mustangs were limited to a single free throw.  Meanwhile, Adam Bates started to hit from the outside for two consecutive three-pointers to bring the Jays to within two points. Brady Palen hit two free throws as the quarter neared the end and  the score was tied at 39.

The fourth quarter opened with a three pointer by the Stangs. That was answered by another three pointer from Adam Bates. A pair of Mustang free throws were answered by a three pointer from Kail Dubbert followed by another one by Bates. That gave the Jays a lead they would never relinquish. Every time the Mustangs would score the Jays would answer. As the game was nearing the end, the Mustangs were forced to foul. The last seven points scored by St. John's/Tipton came at the free-throw line as they closed out a 57-51 victory.

"I was very happy the way boys played on Friday," said Blujay Coach Lance Bergmann. "We had one best halves of basketball in the second half against a very good team. We held until only one point in the third quarter, which allowed us to get the game tied going into the fourth. Adam had a breakout game offensively, which coach Hake and I had been telling each other was coming. Hopefully this will get his confidence going and he will continue to shoot the ball well. Ty played a great game defensively, especially in the second half on the press. Kail has been doing a nice job playing his role and is really helped the team a lot. Braden is continued to get aggressive and to be a threat on offense. I thought Garrett and Brady both had a nice insight came and have stepped up in rebounding, which helped us a lot. Brandon stepped to the free-throw line and sealed the win with excellent free-throw shooting. Eric is giving us good minutes, even if they haven't been that many lately they've been really good."

Adam Bates had a breakout game on offense with 19 points. He also had 4 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals. Brother Brandon Bates was also in double figures with 13 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal. Kail Dubbert scored 7 points, 1 assist, 3 steals; Braden Dameron 7 points, 3 rebounds; Garrett Darnell 5 points, 7 rebounds; Ty Brummer 3 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals; Brady Palen  3 points, 6 rebounds, 3 blocks; Eric Keonigsman 1 rebound, 1 assist, and1 steal.

St. John's/Tipton has a makeup game Monday, Feb. 19 at Downs against Lakeside and then they're back at St. John's gym Tuesday for a game against Bennington.

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