Comets use first half run to defeat Hannan

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 9, 2000

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / December 9, 2000

LAPLACE – A 7-0 run before the half broke open a close game and propelled St. Charles Catholic to a 73-58 victory over Archbishop Hannan in theLaPlace Ford Southeast Louisiana All-Catholic Tournament Thursday night.

The victory gave St. Charles Catholic (8-5) as many wins as it had all of lastseason and advanced the Comets to the semifinals Friday night against Bishop Sullivan. Hannan dropped into the losers bracket against Catholic-NewIberia.

In earlier action Thursday, Sullivan defeated Catholic-New Iberia, 55-45. Onthe other side of the bracket, Byron Robertson led St. Thomas Aquinas to a49-39 victory over E.D. White. And Redemptorist defeated VandebiltCatholic, 56-51.

The championship game is scheduled to tip off at 7 p.m. today. The thirdplace game is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. while the consolations will be held at 4p.m. Results of the tournament can be found at had closed to within 32-26 of the Comets with under a minute to play in the first half Thursday as Chip Weber found Tony Silva underneath. ButMike Mustian answered with a 3-pointer from the right side on the Comets’ next possession. Michael Bonura then grabbed a steal and took it in, making itan 11-point game.

With time running out, Daress Nicholas grabbed another steal in the Hawks’ zone and threw up a shot the length of the court that hit off the rim.

Mustian grabbed the rebound and drove in as the buzzer sounded, giving the Comets a 39-26 halftime lead.

“That was a big point of the game,” St. Charles Catholic head coach PhillipCavell said. “It was anybody’s ball game. We weren’t stopping them. It was anugly win but an ugly win is better than a loss any day of the week. We wereable to score enough inside points to maintain the lead.”A pass from Aaron Johnson to Alton Alexander inside gave the Comets a 41- 26 lead on their first possession of the second half. But Hannan used a 3-pointer and a drive by Ryan Starr to cut the deficit to 41-32. Again St.Charles Catholic answered as a put back by Nicholas and a three-point play by Bonura off a steal by Matt Boucvalt increased the lead back to 46-32.

Nicholas found Alexander underneath for a layup as the buzzer sounded, making it 59-44.

A jumper by Alexander in the paint gave the Comets their biggest lead at 63- 44 in the fourth quarter. A 3-pointer by Matt Arcement from the top of thekey brought the Hawks to within 67-56 with three minutes left. But theComet came back with a jumper by Alexander. Bonura then grabbed anothersteal along the left baseline and found Nicholas driving down the lane, bringing the lead back up to 71-56 with under two minutes to play.

The teams traded baskets early on until St. Charles Catholic went on a 7-2run to close out the first quarter. A put back by Johnson got the runstarted. Mustian then grabbed a steal and found Jerry Gair downcourt,making it 14-7 after the first quarter.

Baskets by Johnson and Boucvalt inside increased the lead to 18-10 early in the second quarter. After the Hawks closed to within 22-18 on a layup byStarr, Mustian buried a 3-pointer from the left wing to make it a seven-point game. A jumper by Nicholas and another 3-pointer by Mustian from the rightside gave the Comets a 32-22 lead with 1:30 left in the half.

Nicholas finished with a team-high 17 points for the Comets. Mustian andAlexander had 16 points apiece and Bonura added 12. Starr led all scorerswith 18 points for the Hawks.

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