February 10th, 2019

DeSales edges past Holy Cross in rivalry matchup

Dalton Pence 

Staff Writer 


DeSales edges past Holy Cross in rivalry matchup
DeSales defeated Holy Cross 52-49/ photo by Dalton Pence

On Sunday evening, DeSales defeated Holy Cross 52-49 in a boys’ basketball rivalry matchup at Valley High School. The Colts haven’t lost to the Cougars in over ten years, but this was new head coach Damien Anderson’s first victory in the rivalry.

The first quarter featured a ton of back-and-forth action until Holy Cross took over in the second. Case Crawley buried a three-pointer and Josh Minor converted an and-one layup to extend the Cougar lead to five. Minor would come through with another and-one conversion minutes later to keep the lead at five going into the half.

“I didn’t think we attacked early enough”, Anderson said, “when we give up offensive rebounds and put-backs, it’s a lot harder to flow into our offense. I was disappointed in the energy and the defensive breakdowns.”

DeSales would soon strike back. Three-pointers by Keegan Brewer and Hunter Brooks, followed by a Matthew Ruckriegel layup re-gained the lead for the Colts in an overall 11-2 run to end the third period.

Brewer converted two and-one opportunities early in the fourth and DeSales threatened to pull away with a nine point lead. Continuing the hot streak, Keeton Thornsberry hit two triples followed by another from Crawley to tie the game at 46 with just over two minutes to play.

“There was a time-out after we went up nine and we said we can’t relax now because they aren’t going to quit”, Anderson said, “they’re a team of fighters.”

Soon after, Antione Johnson hit a midrange jumper to put DeSales ahead and ultimately Holy Cross missed a shot at the end to tie the game and send it into overtime.

Thornsberry led all scorers with 20 points and Crawley added eight for Holy Cross.

“If Keeton has been anything all year, it’s being consistent with how hard he plays”, Holy Cross acting head coach Justin Renck said, “he’s always going to give you everything he’s got and that’s what comes from being a state champion in his solo sport.”

Brewer led the DeSales effort with 16 while Ruckriegel posted a 15 point, 13 rebound double-double.

Ruckriegel’s impact on the game wasn’t just limited to the stat-sheet. “I think he’s been our leading rebounder in every game this season”, Anderson noted, “he plays with good energy and aggression on the offensive end as well.” “I just play hard”, Ruckriegel noted, “I go harder than everybody else.”

Holy Cross falls to 12-13 and will return to action Tuesday when they travel to St. X. DeSales (15-10) will travel to Shelby County on Wednesday.

Filling in due to a suspension of head coach Kent Foushee due to an ejection last week, Renck explained how turnovers affected the outcome.

Ball security proved to be detrimental to Holy Cross on Sunday. “Our turnovers were against a team that wasn’t even putting a lot of pressure on us”, Justin Renck explained, “they would get them (turnovers) and score…and with our experience that shouldn’t happen.”

“We were right there”, Renck said, “but eventually we have to get over the hump. We have another big one Tuesday and we only have one day to get over it.”

 

DESALES: 12   11   11   13- 53

HOLY CROSS: 11   17   8   13- 49

 

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