January 15th, 2019

PRP Defeats St.X 47-44 in Opening Round of LIT

Dalton Pence 

Staff Writer 


PRP Defeats St.X 47-44 in Opening Round of LIT
St.X loses to PRP in opening round of LIT/ photo by Dalton Pence

On Tuesday night, PRP defeated St. Xavier 47-44 at Valley High School in the opening round of the boys’ basketball Republic Bank Louisville Invitational Tournament.

This game held a different type of weight than the other ones; Panther junior guard James Taylor was set to take on his former team for the first time. Taylor, St. X’s leading scorer, transferred to PRP in December after only logging minutes in just four games for the Tigers this season.

“I thought we had a slow start”, Tigers head coach Kevin Klein said, “we didn’t bring the intensity, focus, and mentality that we’ve had in practice.”

 

The first quarter saw both teams unable to get anything going on offense. After three minutes of missed shots, Darius Osborne broke a scoreless tie as his three-pointer put the Panthers ahead. Quickly after, Samuel Boarman answered with a three-pointer of his own to tie the game.

An and-one bucket from Cashawn Beasley and a heavily-contested lay-up from Taylor gave PRP a 9-3 lead after the first quarter.

“We were a little bit out of rhythm offensively”, Klein said, “ultimately we had to find ways to create some offense with our defense.”

The Panthers were able to get it going in the second quarter with Tyler Anderson and Jake Miller both nailing three-point goals, but freshman Mekhi Smith’s three made layups kept St. X in striking range.

Sebian Dillard’s lay-up and Kyle Bansbach’s put-back hook shot cut the lead to three as St. X trailed 20-17 at intermission.

Smith’s six and Nicholas Mosley’s four points paced the way for St. X in the first half, while Anderson and Beasley both had five each for PRP. The Tigers shot a staggering 16.7% (1/6) from deep and 44.4% (8/18) overall from the field, while committing seven turnovers.

Early in the third, Boarman connected on his second made three-pointer, but lay-ups from Anderson and Osborne stalled the Tiger momentum. Soon after, buckets by Shawn Paris and Osborne gave PRP a 30-22 lead with 4:22 left in the third quarter.

Unfortunately for the Tigers, they couldn’t cut the lead. Paris added five consecutive point that pushed PRP’s lead to 11 and the Panthers led 37-26 at the end of the third.

X attempted to begin the comeback in the fourth with Dillard nailing a three-point goal on the first possession and Smith adding two free-throws shortly after.

Dillard followed with a pair of lay-ups and three-pointers to cut the lead to two with 1:53 to play to play. 13 of the senior’s 15 points came in the fourth quarter alone.

However, turnovers killed the St. X comeback as PRP came out victorious as Dillard missed a shot to tie the game at the end of regulation.

Smith and Boarman both had eight points to lead the Tigers. For PRP, Osborne had 11 points and eight rebounds, Anderson had nine, and Taylor and Beasley both added seven.

“We got ourselves right in striking distance and had a chance to win the game and that’s the tough part. You have to live and learn”, Klein said, “we had some possessions that we would have liked to have had back…sometimes they bounce your way, sometimes they don’t. At the end of the day PRP made a couple more plays than us.”

One positive coming out of this game was the impressive play of freshman guard Mekhi Smith. “Mekhi’s an exceptional kid”, Klein said, “one of the most coachable point guards I’ve been around. He made a lot of positive plays that kept us in the game.”

St. X (11-5) will travel next Tuesday for a 7:30 matchup for with Eastern; PRP (10-7) advances to the quarterfinals of the LIT and will face Ballard at 8:15 on Wednesday night.

 

PRP: 9   11 17 10- 47

ST XAVIER: 3   14 9 18- 44

 

 

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