While the St. John Tiger men had little trouble defeating the La Crosse Leopards in an earlier encounter on the Leopards's home turf, last night's game was even more so, as the Tigers took apart the Leopards 72-37, moving the Tigers to the championship round of St. John's 1A (div. I) Sub-State Basketball Tournament this Saturday.
Right from the get-go the Tigers were getting numerous good looks at the basket. Trouble is, the ball just wouldn't go in after several attempts underneath until Ethan Long made the Tiger's first basket. After that, the dam busted and the Tigers started scoring with Long and Dean Wade doing most of the damage with five baskets spread amongst them, St. John taking a 15-6 lead going into the second quarter.
With six Tigers spreading the wealth around in the second quarter, the Tigers dismantled La Crosse, building up a 44-15 half-time lead.
The Tigers started hitting the three's and built up an almost insurmountable lead. Zuriel Reyes made a 3-pointer from the left side, and in the process was intentionally fouled. Reyes went to the foul line and made the free throw, the Tigers given the ball out-of-bounds. Omar Ramirez then canned his second 3-pointer resulting in seven straight points for St. John.
In all, Reyes scored nine points (two of them 3-pointers), Ramirez made two 3-pointers, Wade had two baskets and two free throws, Long with four points and Nusser and Kinnamon each having two points.
The Tigers scored 24 points in the third quarter with Reyes making his 3rd, 4th and 5th three. Spencer Nusser canned a three and a basket. Wade made two baskets and two free throws. Long made one basket.
The Tigers went into the final quarter leading 68-31.
With a running clock in the fourth quarter, St. John's head coach Clint Kinnamon cleared his bench for the rest of the way, the Tigers getting the 72-37 win and advancing on to the championship final on Saturday.
Scoring for St. John: Reyes 22, Wade 16, Long 12, Nusser 7, Ramirez 6, Kade Kinnamon 5, Josue Ramirez 2, Jesus Alvarez 2.
Free throws: 12-19 for 63 percent - Wade 4, Reyes 3, Nusser 2, Long 2, Kinnamon 1.
Turnovers: St. John 15 - La Crosse 19.
Steals: St. John 10 - La Crosse 9.
Rebounds: St. John 41 - La Crosse 28.
Field goal percentage: St. John 48 percent - La Crosse 28 percent.
Assists: St. John 15 - La Crosse 8.