St. Al splits home games with MSD

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 14, 2005

Mississippi School for the Deaf’s Ro’Derrick Brown, back, a Vicksburg native, grabs a rebound as he clears out St. Aloysius defenders Colin Reid (44), Chase Smith, right, and Brian Dyess during a 78-69 loss on Thursday. (Jon Giffin The Vicksburg Post)

[1/14/05]Playing in front of its home fans for the first time in nearly two months produced a mixed bag of fortunes for St. Aloysius Thursday night.

The Lady Flashes overcame a shaky finish to beat Mississippi School for the Deaf 38-31. The St. Al boys, however, did not have enough firepower to handle MSD despite a game-high 36 points from Chase Smith.

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Vicksburg native Ro’Derrick Brown made himself at home on the St. Al floor scoring 19 points in MSD’s 78-69 win.

The Region 7-1A loss drops St. Al to 2-2 in the league and 2-13 overall. MSD improves to 11-4.

You have to defend and rebound and we didn’t do that,” St. Al coach Drew McBrayer said. “Defense is what killed us. We didn’t play a lick of it.

“We gave up some baskets in transition and we allowed them too many offensive rebounds.”

The bright spot for the Flashes was the offensive games of Smith and guard Marsh Willis who had 22. But their combined 58 points could not withstand MSD placing four players in double figures.

“No. 21 (Smith) is a good player,” said Brown through an interpreter. Yet it was Brown who stepped up for his team after Smith had pulled St. Al back to within five at 54-49 with two minutes to play in the third quarter.

Brown stemmed the tide with three straight baskets. The first came on a strong baseline move. He finished the run with an offensive putback, one of many for MSD on the night.

“I like it here,” Brown continued. “I’ve played here maybe four or five times. I’m proud of my team. We listened to what our coach wanted and we played hard.”

Brown’s run of baskets bumped the spread back to 11 at 60-49. Willis scored for St. Al right before the horn to make it 60-51 heading to the fourth.

MSD got its transition game going about two minutes deep into the final stanza. Three easy baskets each from Jeremy Jones and Falon Hall knocked the lead out to 16 at 73-57.

St. Al made a late run to get it back for the nine-point final margin.

Jones led MSD with 27 followed by Brown’s 19. Hall had 16 and Cortland Clay chipped in 12.

St. Al started slow scoring just four points in the first six minutes and fell behind 20-4. Smith scored 17 in the second quarter to help the Flashes get to within 11 at 42-31 by halftime.

(G) St. Aloysius 38, MSD 31

The Lady Flashes (6-9, 2-2) appeared to have things well in hand leading 36-20 with 2:20 left.

At that this point, McBrayer subbed out his starters. That may have been a mistake as MSD reeled off nine straight points to close to within 36-29.

Back came the starters and St. Al’s top scorer in Sarah Kerut hit two free throws in the final 49 seconds to put the game away.

“Our girls do a pretty good job of rebounding, including the offensive boards,” McBrayer said. “About five games ago, we went to a zone and that’s helped our defense. We now can keep the game within our scoring range.”

Kerut scored nine of her 16 points in the first quarter as St. Al eased out to a 13-7 lead.

Laura Weeks scored five in the second after Kerut went out with her second foul to keep the Lady Flashes ahead 20-12 at halftime.

The third quarter saw Kerut and Sara Burrell score five each to push the lead out to 34-18 heading into the final quarter.

MSD (8-7) was led by Jennifer Gray’s 16 points.