After a highly competitive first half, Catholic High turned up the heat in the second half.
Hunter Williams led four Bears in double figures with 19 points and Catholic High pulled away to defeat Rummel 69-56 to advance to the second round of the Country Day Classic on Wednesday.
The first half was a close with Catholic holding just a three-point edge before the Bears went on a barrage in the second half to pull away. Catholic coach Mark Casico was pleased with the effort his team put forth.
“We definitely played better on the defensive end in the second half,” he said. “In the first half, we were just trading baskets so at halftime I told them ‘we have a 3-point lead, if we can string together three or four good possessions we can get it to 10’, and once we did we did a good job of hanging on.
“I think we have to bring the same effort we brought today, tomorrow. We’re always trying to get better so we just need to do everything a little bit better, stay together and play real hard. There’s great teams playing in this tournament so if you take a night off you’re not going to be very successful.”
Center Nicolas Judice, who finished with 13 points, noticed the improvement in the second half as well.
“We had better possessions in the second half,” he said. “We just found better shots. We just need to keep bringing the same effort and keep hitting shots.”
Rummel, meanwhile, had two players in double digits but couldn’t get much going offensively otherwise as they faltered down the stretch.
“We need to move the ball better,” said Raiders coach Troy Holley. “We need to make sure that we contain the ball better, so that we don’t give up as many open shots. Catholic shot the ball really well. They did a great job with ball movement and finding open guys. They shot a really good percentage, and they’re a really good team. They beat us tonight because of our lack of ability to contain the ball and giving up too many open 3-pointers. We need to do things more similar to the way they did them."
Rummel got off to a strong start, building a 15-7 lead in the first quarter before Catholic went on an 11-0 run and the period ended tied at 18. After leading 35-32 at halftime, Catholic came out firing with Colin Holloway and Kentrell Garnett as the Bears took 53-42 lead going into the last quarter. Holloway and Garnett finished with 15 and 13 points.