It was close most of the game, but the St. Paul’s Wolves managed to pull it out in the end.
Parker Edwards scored 26 points, Devonte Allen chipped in 15 and St. Paul’s pulled away late in the fourth quarter to defeat the Slidell Tigers 63-54 to advance to the CYO tournament championship game against the De La Salle Cavaliers.
St. Paul’s coach Stephen Dale said he was proud of his team’s effort after the game.
“Slidell is such a good team,” Dale said. “They’re in our district, so we know all about them. It seems like every time we play it’s a war, so no reason tonight wasn’t that way. We’re excited to get an opportunity to play De La Salle, another extremely good team.
"We’re going to do our best to try and win a championship.”
If the Wolves are to defeat the Cavaliers, the reigning CYO and Division II state champions, they will likely need to count on the effort of players like Edwards.
“I love these guys,” Edwards said. “This is a big statement win for us. I don’t think we need to do anything differently against (De La Salle) we just need to do what we did tonight. We need to bring energy, the first two games of the tournament we didn’t bring a lot of energy and tonight we did and we won so that’s what we need to do.”
As for the Tigers, coach Dale Chimento was just focused on improving and moving forward with the season.
“We have to improve and execute a lot better,” Chimento said. “St. Paul’s is a very good team, and you can’t miss as many shots as we did early in the game you have to keep coming back and make up for it. They’re a very difficult team to defeat.
"They played hard and are well coached so, we've got to move forward.”
The Wolves got off to a good start with an all-around team effort and strong defense led by Chandler Owenby, leading 15-8 at the end of one quarter. Owenby finished with 11 points and three blocks.
Slidell wouldn’t go down without a fight however, as Trey Davis went on a tear by scoring 13 points in the second quarter to tie it at 31-31 at halftime. Davis finished with 17 points.
The third quarter was a back-and-forth affair with Edwards knocking down two 3-pointers and a layup, but the Tigers’ Kolby Warren put on his own show fighting to the basket as the Wolves led 47-45 lead at the end of three periods.
The fourth quarter was close as well until Allen scored with 2:12 left to move St. Paul’s lead to three. After the Tigers failed to score, Allen came back again to score another layup and move the lead to five with 1:54 remaining. Edwards knocked in all four of his free-throw attempts on the next two possessions, sealing the win and a trip to the championship.