Flashes fall in home finale

Published 11:41 pm Saturday, January 28, 2012

Both University Christian and St. Aloysius were without its best players Saturday.

The visiting Flames found enough scoring from other players to turn back St. Al 58-45 in the final home game for the Flashes.

University Christian (9-11) was playing its third game without its top scorer, K-Shun Evans, who was out with a knee injury. Last year, Evans helped the Flames beat Porters Chapel Academy in three of the team’s four meetings.

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St. Al has been without Elliott Bexley, its leading scorer, since Jan. 13 with a knee injury. The Flashes were humbled last week by PCA in the Red Carpet Classic, but against the Flames, they found some spark from Ben Welp.

The sophomore guard hit three 3-pointers in the first quarter and then added a conventional 3-point play a minute into the second quarter to make it a 19-16 game. St. Al went ice cold. The Flashes (1-20) made just two of their next 27 shots.

University Christian, while missing Evans, managed to get layups from Javous Nicks and Caleb Shufelt to ease out to a 39-22 lead after three quarters.

University Christian coach John Dorman said his team made do without its star forward.

“He (Evans) leads us in so many ways, but we still have to lace it up and go out there,” Dorman said. “We shot free throws well enough and made enough early shots to get a lead.”

Unlike against PCA, St. Al battled down to the end. Charles Pendleton made a pair of free throws and Welp’s fifth 3-pointer with 1:06 left made it 54-43.

A layup by Shufelt and two free throws by Graham Yeatman sealed it for the Flames.

St. Al coach Delvin Thompson said his team showed some heart.

“They gave me effort today,” Thompson said. “Ben made some shots and, as a team, they keep improving.”

Welp finished with 18 points and two steals. Kameron Reed had seven points and 11 rebounds. Connor Smith had seven points and three assists.

Shufelt paced the Flames with 20 points while Nicks and Yeatman had 16 apiece.

(G) Univ. Christian 45, St. Aloysius 39

Futility at the free throw line doomed St. Aloysius. The Lady Flashes (8-13) shot 34 free throws, but made just nine and it cost them in their final home game of the season.

“We were just horrible with our free throws,” St. Al coach Cookie Johnson said. “It’s something we practice every day on, and yet we missed 30 free throws.”

It was actually 25. Ann Garrison Thomas missed 11 of 12 in the first half, but did come back to make three of four in the second half. The misses spoiled an otherwise solid game for Thomas. She finished with 12 points, 11 rebounds and six assists.

St. Al trailed by 10 after one quarter, but cut the spread to five in the third quarter after a basket by Avery Parman. Down nine with 3:09 left, Allie Willis hit a 3-pointer and a basket by Thomas off a steal made it 43-39 with 16 seconds left. Two free throws by Rachel Wilson sealed it for the Flames (6-14).

Lauren McDaniel had 16 points for the Flames. Wilson added 12. Alexa Engel had seven points and seven rebounds for St. Al.