Lancers Snare Knights

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It became obvious early there was little the St. Francis High boys’ basketball team could do to halt Bishop Amat’s senior power forward Tyler Goldston.
Drilling long-range jumpers, and then working inside, Goldston finished with a game-high 25 points, as the Lancers pulled away in the second half for a 77-62 victory on the road last Friday night in a CIF Southern Section Division IV AA second-round playoff match.
A 47-point second half explosion was the answer for No. 4 seeded Bishop Amat, as Goldston tallied 12 points. Goldston was supported by senior point guard Dion Hudson, who scored 10 of his 15 points, and junior small forward Daniel Rodriguez, who added eight of his 18 points.
“We came out in the first quarter and played well,’’ said Goldston, “but we came out in the second half and put it away. When we get everything going, we’re a very good team.”
Shooting just over 39 percent (19 of 48) from the floor, the No. 13 seeded Golden Knights trailed, 14-13, after the first quarter, and fell behind, 30-25, at the intermission.
St. Francis hit eight of 21 shots (38 percent) after two quarters, with senior small forward Spencer Nieves tallying 11 of his team-best 17 points.
Having an off-night from the field, St. Francis senior shooting guard Tommy Jordan nailed two free throws in the opening half, and missed all three shots from the floor.
This changed in the second half, as Jordan drained four baskets, including a pair of three-pointers.
“This is a tough one,’’ said Jordan, who finished with 15 points, and hopes to play in college. “I didn’t shoot well in the first half, and I didn’t want to end my high school career that way. I wanted to be more aggressive in the second half, and not be afraid. They’re good and they’re athletic. We lost to a very good team.”
The Lancers (27 of 55 for 49 percent) connected on eight three-pointers, to six for the Golden Knights.
St. Francis assistant coach Ray O’Brien told Jordan to shoot more. “I’d rather go out with my best shooter shooting than him not taking the shots,’’ O’Brien said.
Small forward Tyler Hill (eight points) hit a three-pointer, as did Goldston to make it 38-31 with 5:52 left. Goldston’s steal and hoop with 5:15 showing made it 43-31.
St. Francis (12-16) drained three shots from the field to open the third quarter, but missed its next three before Jordan scored. A string of four straight misses followed, before Jordan made the first of two three-pointers. The deficit entering the final quarter was 52-41.
Each team marched frequently to the free-throw line in the fourth quarter, with Bishop Amat (20-8) hitting 12 of 14, and St. Francis 11 of 14. But it was Goldston’s monster dunk with six minutes left that silenced the crowd and gave the Lancers, who converted six of nine from the floor, a 56-47 advantage.

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