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St. Edmund kept its composure against Springfield Gardens for three quarters, and even took a seven-point lead into the final frame — but the lead didn’t last, thanks to Springfield Garden’s pressure defense.
Victory ultimately eluded the Eagles in a 46–43 defeat in non-league boys’ basketball at Aviator Sports Complex last Friday. The St. Edmund team, which lead by 11 early in the second quarter, saw a 15–2 Springfield Gardens run put it in a 46–41 hole with 1:07 left to play in the game.
“We weren’t mentally tough enough in this game to hold the lead,” Eagles coach Dan Wiatre said. “It was disappointing. Our guys are better than that.”
His club turned the ball over against Springfield Gardens’ pressure in the fourth quarter and was rushing their offense instead of meticulously running sets like it had earlier in the game. Nick Tsatsis (eight points) took a charge after Freddie Gavitt made two free throws to get St. Edmund (4–5) the ball back down 46–43 with 23.1 seconds to go.
Star forward Altine King, who struggled for the first time this season, threw an errant pass in traffic on the ensuing possession. A desperation heave from the Eagles in the closing seconds fell short. Junior Travis Raynor scored 12 points to pace Springfield Gardens, one of the Public School Athletic League’s top Class A teams.
“The first three quarters, our offense was flowing, they weren’t really pressuring,” King said. “Once the defense pressured the ball, we just got nervous and careless with the ball.”
There were some bright spots early on. The Eagles excelled in the second quarter even with King (12 points) on the bench with three fouls. Sharpshooter Chris DeCapua got hot in the third thanks to King drawing the Springfield Garden’s defense to him on drives to the paint.
DeCapua connected on consecutive three-pointers during a 10–2 spurt to close the frame that put St. Edmund up 34–27 heading into the fourth.
“He’s our best shooter. It’s not even close,” Wiatre said. “He is the only guy who has the green light from the three-point line. He did a good job in the third quarter stepping up and hitting a couple of big threes.”
His team has struggled to find consistency early in the season both within each game and between them.
“This season has been win one, lose one,” King said. “We can never string two wins back to back.
©2013 Community Newspaper Group
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