Following three consecutive losses to begin the year, including a 25-point deficit to powerhouse St. Raymond High School, the Knights narrowly missed winning their first game of the season against Xaverian High School Friday.
Knights junior guard Matthew Newton, who scored all his 12 points in the fourth quarter, fueled a second half burst, but Holy Cross (CHSAA 0-4) lost 64-57 to the Clippers (3-3).
“We just missed it by a little,” Newton said. “If we play a little harder next game we’ll win.”
With 2:33 left to play in the game, Newton hit two free throws to make the score 58-51. Following a free throw by Xaverian, Newton made a steal at 1:33 and scored a layup to bring the Knights within six points of tying the game, 59-53.
“I just tried to come back and help the team out. Try to get that W [win],” Newton said.
But with such little time left Holy Cross had resorted to fouling to stop the clock and couldn’t catch up to Xaverian.
Besides Newton, Jermaine Bishop scored 13 points, Joshua Wallace scored 11 points and added eight rebounds and five assists for the Knights.
The Knights trailed for most of the game. By halftime they were only behind 36-31, but after the break, Xaverian dominated Holy Cross by aggressively attacking the inside with layups and offensive rebounds, and quickly expanded the lead on an 8-0 run to go up 44-31.
Holy Cross players continued to shoot from the outside and avoid taking the ball inside and were missing long range shots. This caused the lead to expand until Newton hit two threes in a row. But even he admits that next time they need to stop relying on shooting.
“Coach said attack the basket more and stop shooting threes,” Newton said.
UPDATE– Holy Cross won their first game of the season against Fordham Prep High School on Monday, December 23, with a score of 59-49.
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