St. Anthony entered this regional showdown struggling, but it was actually a hot Putnam City squad that struggled in the matinee contest.
St. Anthony jumped out to a 17-6 advantage behind elite talents Derrick Williams and Dominic Cheek. Putnam City looked like they might come alive scoring the final five points of the opening quarter and closed to within six by the end of the first period.
The second stanza began like the first, as the Friars went on a 12-4 run over the first five minutes to go up 29-15 with 2:48 to play. Neither squad could find the range down the stretch, as St. Anthony held on for a 31-18 halftime advantage. St. Anthony’s hounding defense held standout Xavier Henry to just four points on 1-of-7 shooting.
The third quarter started with more of the same as St. Anthony’s extended their lead early to seventeen, 38-21, before the sleeping giant, Henry found his shooting stroke and hit two straight threes. Henry’s unit held its own throughout the third, and trailed 49-34 heading into the final stanza.
The final period opened with a long three by Henry that cut the margin to twelve. The two clubs exchanged baskets for the next couple of minutes until Henry hit another NBA-range jumper to cut the deficit to eight, 53-45, with 2:59 to play. 6-9 Oklahoma signee Kyle Hardrick hit two free throws to close the gap to seven, 54-47, but that was as close as his squad would get, as St. Anthony’s held on to win 58-50.
Devon Collier led the way for St. Anthony with 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Williams and Jamee Jackson each finished with 10 points. Henry finished with 24 points for Putnam City despite scoring four first half points.
Thoughts on the game? I was excited to see St. Anthony give it to Putnam. Collier had a great game which definitely helped.