CLASS 3A, REGION 1 QUARTERFINAL
St. Francis ends playoff drought, tops Master's Academy
Published: Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 11:36 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 11:36 p.m.
Behind Andrew Wasik's 23 points, St. Francis won its first-ever state playoff game Wednesday night as the Wolves knocked off Oviedo Master's Academy 63-38 in the Class 3A, Region 1 quarterfinals.
“It is an awesome feeling,” Wasik said. “It was a big deal (getting that first state playoff win.) That was something (us seniors) were trying to aim for. We wanted to leave a legacy as seniors.”
The Wolves trailed Master's Academy 15-14 after one quarter. St. Francis struggled shooting the ball in the opening eight minutes. Forward Lamine Mbodj missed four of his first five shots.
The one-point Master's Academy lead would be its last though. St. Francis outscored the Eagles 14-7 in the second quarter. Ryan McCloskey and Christian Fallo each hit a 3-pointer, helping the Wolves get a 28-22 halftime lead.
St. Francis head coach Brian Shea pleaded for his team to be more aggressive at halftime.
Wasik switched on his aggressive button and took over the game. A three-point Wolves' lead (28-25) ballooned to 10 with Wasik hitting a 3-pointer, scoring on a putback and assisting on a third bucket.
“I needed him to up the tempo, and we needed to speed the game up,” Shea said. “He plays great defense, is a pure-shooter and he can also drive.”
St. Francis wasn't just doing it on the offensive end. Master's Academy needed the second and third quarters to match its first-quarter point total of 15. Wasik's seven third-quarter points helped the Wolves to a 13-point lead (43-30). An 8-2 St. Francis run to open the final period, six coming from Mbodj, put the game out of reach. Wasik went to the foul line nine times in the fourth quarter and made eight.
St. Francis principal Ernie Harrington, who went through some rough patches when the program first started, loves its development.
“It is great. It is another school-first,” said Harrington. “When the program first started, we had kids that played soccer and basketball. The coaches kind of shared. It was a little rough. Now we have a program and there is an expectation. The kids have set the bar high.”