With nowhere to go but up, the Redemptorist High School basketball team continued showing signs of improvement Thursday night.
The Wolves (2-6) won only one game last season, but picked up their second consecutive victory at Central’s Kinsley Memorial Tournament. Redemptorist rallied from an 11-point fourth quarter deficit to topple Career Academy High 62-61 and advance to the tournament semifinals.
The Wolves’ Marquis Webb was fouled in the lane with two seconds left and made the second of two free throws for the winning edge. Webb totaled 28 points for the game, while Eric Duncan added 14 for Redemptorist.
“It’s getting better day by day,” Redemptorist coach RoShon Jacobs said. “The guys are learning. They’re picking things up. We’re just trying to believe and build more confidence.”
Redemptorist advances to the tournament semifinal where it will face Belaire at 8 p.m. Friday. University High plays McKinley, a 53-45 winner over Zachary, at 6:30 p.m. Friday in the other semifinal.
Career (6-7), a local school which has applied for membership in the LHSAA, led 54-43 with six minutes to play after Terrell Evans’ follow shot. From there, Redemptorist went to work by putting together a 16-3 run to take a 59-57 lead with 1:19 left.
Mike Williams and Webb each scored six points to fuel the Redemptorist surge.
Evans tied the score 59-59 with an inside bucket, but Duncan’s drive put Redemporist back up. Career hit two of four free throws to tie the score 61-61 with 12 seconds left.
Redemptorist then inbounded and worked the ball to Webb, who was fouled near the top of the key.
“We came back and got some defensive stops,” Jacobs said. “We’ve been preaching defense. We know we can score a little bit, but to dig in and get some stops really helps us.”
Bryant Kinison scored 12 second-quarter points on his way to a team-leading 17 for Career. Trinon Carray made three 3-pointers and scored 13 while Evans finished with 12.
McKinley took a 23-17 halftime lead and kept Zachary at arm’s length in the second half. Trailing 42-34 entering the fourth, Zachary could only get as close as 50-43 with 33 seconds left to play.
Russell Daniels scored 16 for McKinley. Shyron White tallied 16 for Zachary.
In consolation play, Austin Stewart’s 3-pointer sent Central into overtime tied 53-53 with Woodlawn. Once there, Kevin Henry hit 7 of 8 free throws to lead the Wildcats to a 64-59 win.
Henry topped Central with 19 points, and got support from Titus Woodfork’s 17. Stewart finished with 14.
Tara pulled away from Glen Oaks in the second half of its 40-32 win. The game was tied 23-23 at halftime.
The Trojans’ Daylen Williams made three 3-pointers on his way to a game-high 21 points. With Tara holding on to the ball and running clock, Noah Plain scored six of his eight points in the closing minutes to help the Trojans hold on.
“(Plain) did sneak in there for some easy baskets at the end,” Tara coach Marqis Mitchell said. “It’s a good confidence booster for him going into Saturday.”