The First Basketball team headed to Ridley College on Monday, February 4 for a must-win game to keep their CISAA playoff hopes alive.
The Saints executed well on offense in the opening quarter and earned some great looks from the perimeter. Bryce Neil hit two big triples from the corner and Isaac Bradbury attacked the basket relentlessly. The Saints defended well in the half court and rebounded well to slow Ridley’s attack. At the end of one, the score was knotted at 13.
The second quarter saw Ridley bring some pressure in their man-to-man defense and this bothered the Saints. Tentative ball handling and passing led to turnovers and easy transition baskets for Ridley. Meanwhile, despite getting a ton of open looks, there was a lid on the basket for the Saints. Ridley was up 28-21 at the half.
The Saints continued to battle in the second half but couldn’t gain any momentum. Oliver Ingram tried to kickstart a run with two deep three pointers, but Ridley marched right back the other way and scored in transition. Oruese Erivwo and Neebeesh Elliott battled inside and Bilal Mahmood worked hard on the perimeter but steals and rebounds couldn’t be converted into buckets.
As the game wore on, Ridley started to take over as the game became more “run and gun” in nature. An exhausted Noah Hulton played almost the entire game and continued to find open teammates in transition, but the gap had become too big.
Despite the loss, the Saints remain upbeat about the coming week as Wednesday brings an opportunity to battle Crestwood Prep again at home, and the weekend will allow the Saints to test themselves against the top small schools in the province at the Small School Showcase tournament in Burlington.