February 9th, 2014

Nativity wins first-ever CSAA crown

Matt Young 

Staff Writer

Nativity wins first-ever CSAA crown
The Eagles beat St. Nicholas 41-28 in the 8th grade boys #1 “A” division title game / photo by Sharron Hilbrecht

The Nativity Academy Eagles had some unfinished business coming into this year’s 8th grade boys #1 “A” division title game. The Eagles had lost last year in search of the school’s first-ever CSAA title.

It was mission accomplished Sunday night when the Eagles beat the St. Nicholas Panthers 41-28 at Trinity High School.

“Everybody in uniform over there on that bench is everybody that is eligible to play basketball in the school,” Nativity coach Marc Murphy said. “This is truly a school victory.”

Nativity Academy is the smallest school in the CSAA, but there was nothing small about their play Sunday night.

The Eagles raced to a 7-0 lead to silence the large St. Nicholas crowd. Murphy said it was big for his team to come out strong.

“We were able to take their crowd out of the game early,” he said.

The strong guard play of Tyrese and Tyron Duncan allowed the Eagles to increase the margin to 15-4 heading to the second quarter.

Arak McDuffie added four straight points early in the second quarter to push Nativity’s lead to 15 points. But the Panthers clawed back as Jacquez Vasquez and Jackson Hartledge scored late in the second quarter to cut the Eagles’ lead to 19-8 going to halftime.

Nativity answered every run the Panthers had in the second half.

A Hartledge layup cut the Eagle lead to 23-15, but Nativity’s Andre Coleman scored five straight points to push the margin back to 13 points.  

McDuffie hit two free throws to end the third quarter and give the Eagles a 32-18 advantage.

St. Nicholas started the fourth quarter with an 8-0 run capped by back-to-back three-pointers by Bryce Frasher and Cameron Scheler to cut the lead to 32-26 with a little over three minutes to play in the game.  

That flurry caused Murphy to call a timeout, and he told his players they had to close out on the shooters.

The Eagles did just that down the stretch and outscored the Panthers 9-2 in the final minutes.

“I’m as happy for these young men as I am for my own sons,” Murphy said.



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