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Vikings fall to big, fast Cordia in All A

By James D. Horne jhorne@paducahsun.com

FRANKFORT - St. Mary ran into a big, fast and hot-shooting Cordia squad that used an 8-0 run to start that third quarter that gave the Lions enough cushion to knock the Vikings out of the All A Classic Boys State Tournament at the Frankfort Convention Center and win 63-47.

"We knew they were going to try to come out and put a pounding on us in the second half," St. Mary coach Greg Overstreet said. "I thought we did a good job. But they made a lot of shots over top of us and made a lot of good shots in the third. They are a good basketball team. Their length and speed finally caught up to us there at the end."St. Mary (16-6) was making its first appearance in the All A State Tournament since 2002, the final of four-straight trips that started in 2002. It's the third time the Vikings have been knocked out in the quarterfinals, joining the 1999 and 2000 teams. St. Mary advanced to the semifinals in 2001 and lost in the first round in 2002.

Cordia (15-5), which had two players, Josh Ortiz and Richard Chapman, reinstated after Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate granted a temporary restraining order Friday that kept the KHSAA from enforcing an order that withheld eligibility from the athletes, will move on to play Besty Lane in the semifinals tonight at 6:30.

"Having those two added to their depth," Overstreet said. "It gave them two more big bodies to throw at us. Normally, when their seven-foot kid (Oumar Keita) goes out they come in their with a 6-3 kid (J.J. Catchings). But they now could come with a 6-7 (Ortiz) and 6-8 (Chapman) and when they went big and with the 1-3-1 zone, it was just hard for us to get a shot off."

Harrison Dickens had the team high for St. Mary with 10 points and Tyler Dome scored eight.

Cordia was led by Christen Cunningham's 20 and Anthony Tagaloa's 19.

The Lions started the third with the 8-0 run and took a 40-26 lead with 6:34 left on Cunningham's three-point play.

St. Mary whittled the lead down to 40-31 on Dickens' 3-pointer with 3:59 remaining in the third. But Cordia closed the third, after holding the ball for 1:45, and Tagaloa drained a three that made it 46-33.

Dickens scored the first basket in the fourth with 7:45 to play and got St. Mary to 46-36. The Lions got things going and went on a 16-1 run, extended their lead to 55-37 on Felix Frimpong's triple and kept control of the game the rest of the way.

Cordia opened the second quarter with a 11-4 run and went up 24-15 with 5:07 remaining on Cunningham's drive. The Vikings answered with a 9-2 run and cut it to 26-24 with 2:51 on the clock on a Dome 3. Cordia outscored St. Mary 6-2 the rest of the way and took a 32-26 lead in to halftime with the last buckets coming from the Lions' Catchings with 1:00 left and St. Mary's Hubert with 44.3 to go.

"We told ourselves the longer we stayed close we could stay in it," Overstreet said. "Really the turning point was when we were down 26-24 and we wanted to let the clock run out and take that to the half. But we bobbled a couple, they got a couple of breaks and they hit that three at the end that put them up six. So instead of going in two with a little momentum, we go in down six and that kind of turned us a little bit."

St. Mary  9 26 33 47

Cordia  13 32 46 63

ST. MARY - Patrick Hubert 7, Harrison Dickens 10, Mason Vaughan 3, Wes Averill 6, McCall Overstreet 7, Tyler Dome 8, Nick Eggemeyer 1, Peyton Smith 2, Ben Hopper 3 DeNeve, Norris, A. Hubert, Blackwell, Urhan, Emmons.

Field goals 13/34. 3-pointers 6/13 (P. Hubert, Dickens 2, Hopper, Dome 2). Free throws 15/24. Rebounds 21. Fouls 15. Record 16-6.

CORDIA- Christen Cunningham 20, Josh Ortiz 5, J.J. Catchings 3, Anthony Tagaloa 19, OumarKeita 2, A.J. Chisolm 2, Felix Frimpong 5,  Richard Chapman 4,Austin Combs 3, Cornett, Biallas, Fritz, Smith.

Field goals 25/47. 3-pointers 6/13  (Tagaloa 3, Combs, Frimpong, Catchings). Free throws 7/11. Rebounds 27. Fouls 21. Record 15-5.

Call James D. Horne, a Sun sports writer, at 270-575-8661 or follow him on Twitter @bigdog_jamesd.

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