Wave clinch top seed in District 3-3A

Ray Jackson comes up big in the fourth quarter.

Published: Thursday, January 19, 2012 at 11:57 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 19, 2012 at 11:57 p.m.

Leading the entire game, except for the opening basket, P.K. Yonge's boys basketball team saw its lead dwindle to nothing as host St. Francis rallied to tie the contest heading into the final period.

That's when Blue Wave senior guard Ray Jackson took over.

Jackson scored 11 of his team-high 20 points and hit three 3-pointers in the fourth as P.K. Yonge responded with a 27-point period for an 85-77 win, clinching the top seed for the upcoming District 3-3A tournament.

“When Ray has a positive attitude, he's a great player,” said Blue Wave first-year coach Jeff Myers, whose team hit on nine 3-pointers. “He's got great one-on-one moves, and I think tonight was his best game all year. He took over when we needed him too and made smart decisions with the ball.

“I thought his teammates did a good job inside, with Kiaundric (Richardson) and Stephen Brown. We figured out how to win a game. When we are making our shots, we are tough to defend.”

The Blue Wave (8-9 overall, 6-1 in district) got off to a hot start, and led by nine four times in the second, the last on a put-back basket from Richardson (33-24). But St. Francis (15-5, 5-2) outscored the Blue Wave 11-4 down the stretch, to pull within two, 37-35, at the half.

A put-back basket by the Wolves' Jake Nangle, who led all scorers with 24 points, tied the game briefly in the third, but back-to-back 3-pointers by Jackson and Van Turner quickly put the Blue Wave up by six. A late score by Ray King, who finished with 21, brought the Wolves into a 58-58 tie going into the fourth.

Jackson's third 3-pointer of the period, followed by consecutive baskets from Crite and Richardson, gave the Blue Wave an 8-point lead (77-69) with 3:57 left. King's basket off a fastbreak cut the deficit to two (79-77), but the Blue Wave converted on 6 of 7 free throws down the stretch to seal the win.

Richardson finished with 16 points while Brown had 13 and Turner, who hit four treys, had 12 for P.K. Yonge. Gabe Salamida had 12 points for St. Francis, and Andrew Wasik added 10.

“They are quick shooters and were hitting their treys,” said Wolves coach Jack Butler. “Their offensive boards and their treys killed us.”

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