St. Augustine’s drive to a second consecutive District 9-5A title continued as the Purple Knights defeated host Shaw 67-47 Friday.
The Purple Knights (22-5, 8-1 District 9-5A) got off to a quick start in the first quarter with a 13-0 run and kept Shaw scoreless until the 4:26 mark when Tyrone Myles scored.
Dante Jones led St. Augustine with a team-high 19 points while Caleb Daniels added 12 points.
For Shaw (10-16, 1-7) Jaiwon Charles scored a game-high 24 points and was the sole double-figures scorer for the Eagles. Averriel Thomas had seven with his two field goals being 3-pointers.
With the end of the regular season near, St. Augustine coach Mitchell Johnson said he uses these games to practice fundamentals.
“We try to continue working on execution, defending and rebounding, and just playing smart down the stretch,” Johnson said.
Despite the fact the Purple Knights started with and kept and overwhelming lead, Johnson said focusing on the current opponent is key.
“We keep them focused in practice,” he said. “We let them know the importance of this game, let them know the importance of any game. We really get their attention in practice.
“Whatever opponent presents itself, whatever team, we’ve just got to prepare like it’s a regular game.”
Jones scored the first points for St. Aug when he scored with 7:33 left in the first period.
After a basket by Bryce Beacham, Caleb Daniels then passed to Jones who made the layup on the fast break that gave the Purple Knights a 7-0 lead with 6:17 left in the first quarter.
By the 1:40 mark of the first quarter, St. Aug coach Mitchell Johnson sent out the five starters.
“We just try to play every possession as best we can,” Shaw coach John Quilter said. “To become a good quality basketball player, it’s a process you have to go through. You have to develop a mental attitude that is serious about the game all the time.”
One thing Quilter said he is working on is getting this year’s players to play as one unit.
“We have a very young group that we’re trying to (blend) to some degree and force to play to some degree, and trying to help them develop that understanding is certainly a process,” he said.
Shaw plays at Brother Martin on Monday while St. Augustine hosts Rummel on Thursday night.