Flashes vault past Bulldogs
Published 10:16 am Wednesday, February 5, 2014
The St. Aloysius Flashes are like a turbocharged engine. They might lag out of the starting gate, but when the boost hits, they’re hard to stop.
Ben Welp scored a game-high 29 points to lead the Flashes to a 61-45 victory Tuesday at home against Mississippi School for the Deaf.
St. Al coach Delvin Thompson decided to give point guard Connor Smith the week off to rest his legs, but plans to have him back in the starting lineup Friday against Hinds AHS.
“We wanted him fresh,” Thompson said. “He’s our horse and we need him.”
Friday’s game takes on added importance since St. Al is now in second in the Division 7-1A standings. Piney Woods, which is on MHSAA sanctions, is considered an independent. Since the teams above St. Al had wins against Piney Woods, removing those victories moved them down in the standings. The seeding is important going into the division tournament in a few weeks at Bogue Chitto. A favorable first-round matchup could help the Flashes get an easier path to a division tournament championship game.
“It’s a good feeling,” Welp said about second place. “We’re exactly where we need to be. Our shots are starting to fall, we’re grabbing more rebounds and we’re playing better ‘D’ right now.”
The Flashes (10-11, 5-2), like a turbo just spooling up to speed, struggled in the first half. After jumping out to a 12-point lead in the first quarter, the shots didn’t fall and MSD (2-11, 0-8) kept the game within reach in the second, down only 33-21 at the break.
However, St. Al put the game out of reach in the third quarter, outscoring the Bulldogs 20-10, thanks to a 10-2 outburst punctuated by 3-pointers from Welp and Matthew Foley. Foley finished with 10 points.
Marquise Vicker led MSD with 23 points.
(G) St. Aloysius 74, MSD 42
Thanks to a team-high 20 points from Julie Mabry, the hot-shooting Lady Flashes had no trouble with Mississippi School for the Deaf.
Kylisha Cathey led the Lady Bulldogs (5-10, 0-8) with a game-high 28 points.
Allie Willis added 10 points for St. Al (9-10, 4-4).
Thompson got the complete effort he was looking for from his team against MSD.
“They had played hard and kept their level of play up,” Thompson said. “I’ve tried to tell them, when we’re playing teams that have less talent than we do, we still need to play at a high level. We did a good job of that.”