February 16th, 2014

Margaret Mary wins Boys 8th grade

Matt Young 

Staff Writer


Margaret Mary wins Boys 8th grade
St. Margaret Mary and St. Edward battling for a loose ball / photo by Sharon Hillbrecht

The Saint Margaret Mary Mustangs were looking to complete an undefeated season on Sunday at St. Xavier High School with a championship.

But in their way was a Saint Edward Braves team that was their toughest opponent all year. The Mustangs answered every comeback attempt by the Braves on their way to a hard-fought 34-30 win.

“Unbelievable, This team has been a blast to coach all year,” said Mustangs coach Nick Kramer.

The first quarter was dominated by strong defensive play from both teams, and the Mustangs held a 6-4 lead at the end of the quarter.

In the second quarter, the Braves fought back and took the lead after two made free throws from Justin Conrad at 11-10.

But the Braves had problems with foul trouble as starting point guard Ben Seger and starting forward Matthew Bohn each had three first half fouls.

With those two on the bench,  the Mustangs ended the half on a 6-0 run that was capped off by a Parker Moorman banked in three-pointer at the halftime buzzer to give the Mustangs a 16-11 halftime lead.

“That run was huge,” Kramer said. “That was huge for the boys to have confidence after going up five at the end of half and gave us a boost going to the second half.”

The Mustangs used the momentum to control the third quarter and stretch their lead to six points at 27-21 going to the fourth quarter.

The Mustangs were able to solve the Braves 2-3 zone in an 11-point third quarter. “We have seen a lot of 2-3 zone this year,” Kramer said.  “We pass it to the high post and try to kick it down to the baseline for easy buckets, and we executed well today.”

But the Braves made it interesting in the fourth quarter. Peyton Ackerman’s steal and free throw cut the Mustangs lead to four points at 31-27 with 55 seconds to play. But the Mustangs closed out the Braves by making three free throws down the stretch to close out a 34-30 championship win.

“We practice free throws at every practice,” Kramer said. “We told the boys from the get-go that when we get down to a close game, free throws will win it for us.”

 

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