For The Dialog
NEWARK – St. Thomas More has advanced to the DIAA boys basketball tournament semifinal round for the first time after beating a pesky Appoquinimink team, 48-40, on March 5 at the Bob Carpenter Center. The Ravens, 19-3 and seeded second, raced out to a 13-point halftime lead and withstood a Jags rally to advance, where they will meet No. 19 Caravel on Thursday night.
Junior Greg Bloodsworth had a monster game with 26 points and said the team had one goal this year.
“We had more motivation this year,” he said. “Last year we wanted to get here, this year, we want to finish it.”
The Ravens’ defense suffocated the Jags in the first half, holding them to 11 points on 4 of 25 shooting from the field. The 24-11 halftime lead quickly disappeared as Appoquinimink hit some early three-pointers. The Jaguars took their first lead at 29-28 on a Ky’Ree Perkins three-pointer with 1:46 left in the third quarter. Ravens coach Cheston Boyd warned his team about a run.
“I told my guys, ‘Hey they struggled. They will make some adjustments. They practice like we do,'” he said.
The same thing happened last year as the Ravens coughed up a 12-point second-half lead and lost, 45-39, to St Georges.
“We just had to stay calm, stay patient,” Bloodsworth said. “We couldn’t panic, Last year, we panicked when St. Georges came back against us. That’s why we lost last year, and this year we are a different team.”
St. Thomas More outscored the Jags, 20-11, after Appo took the lead. Eric Montanez hit a key basket, and Bloodsworth drained a deep three to put the Ravens in front, 42-38. The Ravens made six free throws down the stretch to seal the win.
Senior Myles Cale finished with 14 points for Appoquinimink, which finished its season 15-8.