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Posted On: 12/9/17 4:00 PM
In the clash of the defending state champions, it was Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary getting the better of Villa Angela-St. Joseph on Dec. 8 at Viking Village by a final score of 75-63.
VASJ led at the half 30-28, but the Irish outscored the Vikings 20-11 in the third quarter to assume control.
The floor was flooded with top-shelf talent, including VASJ deluxe senior point guard Jerry Higgins (2018), and SVSM fab frosh Seth Wilson (2021).
SVSM used balanced scoring which featured five players in double figures to pull out the road win. The Irish (2-0) fell behind briefly in the third quarter before unleashing a nasty full-court press that created turnovers and buckets and the eventual win over VASJ, which is the defending state champion in D-III. The schools could meet again in the regional playoffs, as VASJ moved up to D-II this year
No. 1 : Best player on the floor
For the most part, you’d have to say, Higgins. The undersized point guard, he’s listed at 5’10”, scored a game-high 27 points and did it all for the Vikings.
Still unsigned, Higgins said he’s getting looks from several smaller D-I schools, think Ivy League and military academies and Patriot League.
His best attribute might be his mental. He’s a winner, having been a starter on a team that won a state title.
So would a college program get in Higgins, according to his coach, Babe Kwasniak.
“He’ll change your culture. He’s the toughest kid I’ve ever coached, he’s as good a leader as I’ve ever coached, he’s the best defender I’ve ever coached,” said Kwasniak, who also noted that Higgins is a winner.
“We played 21 state tournament game with that kid and won 20 of them,” pointed out Kwasniak.
Against SVSM Higgins was continually able to get to the basket and finish and also displayed a decent stroke from the outside.
2. Fab Frosh alert
Wilson scored 12 points and grabbed nine rebounds and dished out four assists for SVSM, but struggled from the outside going 4-of-13 and 0-for-2 from 3s. He asserted himself on the game in crunch time when he was continually able to get inside off the dribble and create for himself and teammates.
Wilson scored 22 points in his varsity debut for SVSM, a loss on Dec. 2 to Pickerington
VASJ had two top-flight freshmen themselves in 6’8” Envell Lighty (2021) and 5’11” point guard Jadeen Hameed. Lighty did not score and came off the bench while Hameed scored 16 and started.
VASJ is 1-2 after the loss to SVSM.
No. 3: Big day for McDay
SVSM received a big night from Lunden McDay (2019), a 6-2 wing who scored 14 points and grabbed three rebounds.
“He’s our most recruitable basketball player,” SVSM coach Dru Joyce said of McDay.
McDay, who scored eight in the fourth quarter of the win over VASJ, has already been offered by Buffalo and Akron and Ohio University have also shown interest.