January 15th, 2019

Seneca defeats DeSales, advances to LIT Quarterfinals

Dalton Pence 

Staff Writer 

Seneca defeats DeSales, advances to LIT Quarterfinals
Desales file photo by Ed Peak

On Tuesday night, Seneca defeated DeSales at Valley High School 79-56 to advance in the boys’ basketball Republic Bank Louisville Invitational Tournament. The victory avenged a 79-70 loss to DeSales on December 28th in the Ashland Invitational.

“Not a lot went well”, DeSales head coach Damien Anderson said, “Seneca just came out and punched us early and we didn’t respond the way that I would’ve liked us too.”

The first half did not start out good for the Colts. Logan Lautzenheiser added a couple of three-pointers to keep the Colts close in the first period, but Seneca’s Tim Gordon took over. The senior point guard had nine points in the first quarter alone, as the RedHawks jumped out to a 24-16 lead.

Unfortunately for DeSales, the shooting woes got worse in the second quarter. Antoine Johnson’s corner three-pointer cut the Seneca lead to 10 until Richard Ninamou and Phil Armstrong’s lay-ups capped off an 8-0 Seneca run to end the half leading 37-19.

The Colts only scored three points in the second quarter, and shot 28% (7/25) in the first half. Gordon and Ninamou led the way for Seneca with 13 and 10 respectively. “The three-points in the second quarter, I’m not even worried about that”, Anderson said, “I’m more worried that Seneca went on such a run and they scored all those points.”

DeSales began to show life in the third quarter. A couple of buckets from Luke McClinton cut the Seneca lead to 15, but Gordon and company shut down every run.

Carl Parker’s put-back lay-up and Ninamou’s and-one floater pushed the Seneca lead out to 20 with 1:37 left in the third. McClinton rose to the occasion again and nailed a three just before time expired in the quarter to bring DeSales within 53-36.

A quick 4-0 run to start the fourth quarter by Seneca halted the Colts’ comeback. Keegan Brewer’s and-one lay-up and a basket by Hunter Brooks pulled DeSales within 16, but the Redhawks quickly answered with a string of their own scoring plays.

“Defensively we broke down a lot”, Anderson said, “our principles had a lot to do with it.”

Ninamou’s steal and transition lay-up gave Seneca their largest lead of the night as the Redhawks led 76-50 with 1:47 to play in the game.

McClinton’s 16 points (3/4 from deep) led the way for the Colts. Matthew Ruckriegel also had 10 points and 15 rebounds. “He (McClinton) had a great performance offensively”, Anderson said, “he can definitely do that on a consistent basis.”

Gordon (26 points and five assists), Ninamou (21 points and eight rebounds), and Armstrong (11 points) highlighted the Redhawks’ performance.

“Hopefully this is an outlier”, Anderson said, “we’ve taken a couple steps back in the last couple weeks so we’ve got to find that within the group.”

Seneca (11-6) will advance to the LIT quarterfinals as they take on Bullitt East at 5:00 on Wednesday. DeSales drops to 11-6 and will host Doss next Tuesday at 7:30.


SENECA: 24   13   16   26- 79

DESALES: 16   3   17   20- 56


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