Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

SLUH Outlasts Chaminade, Clinches Share of MCC Title

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

SLUH Outlasts Chaminade, Clinches Share of MCC Title

Article excerpt

In the 25-year history of the Metro Catholic Conference, the St. Louis U. High basketball team had never won a conference championship.

Until Wednesday night.

Behind strong efforts from the senior trio of Brandon McKissic, Anthony Hughes and Brent Smith, the Jr. Billikens led for all but three minutes against visiting Chaminade in a 60-58 victory.

The win clinched at least a share of the MCC title for SLUH (19- 6 overall, 6-1 MCC), No. 6 in the STLhighschoolsports large school rankings. The win also prevented No. 2 Chaminade (19-5, 5-2) from clinching at least a share of its ninth MCC title in the past 11 years.

"Just beating Chaminade, I've been on the team for four years now and I've never beaten Chaminade and it's the last time I'm facing them in the regular season," said Smith, who more than doubled his season scoring average with 16 points. "So it feels good."

The conference championship was definitely on the minds of SLUH's players and fans. Even the school's public address announcer joked earlier in the day that the Jr. Billikens "were going for their first conference championship since 1905" during the school announcements.

But the end of the game was no laughing matter as Chaminade launched a furious comeback, outscoring SLUH 27-19 in the fourth quarter.

The Red Devils even had a chance to tie it at the buzzer after Jadis White was fouled taking a 3-pointer with two seconds left. White made the first two free throws to cut SLUH's lead to 60-58 and intentionally missed the last one. Reggie Crawford came down with the offensive rebound and he and Karrington Davis each had shots that didn't go before the buzzer sounded.

"With a veteran group, an experienced group, to make the bonehead plays we had, we've got to go back to the textbook," SLUH coach Erwin Claggett said. "We'll get some things fixed, but up until then I thought the guys did a good job of fighting and competing."

Chaminade's comeback gained momentum when leading scorer Jericole Hellems fouled out after scoring just 13 points, well below his season average of 23.7.

White picked up the slack, scoring nine of his 13 points in the fourth, and Davis had six points as Chaminade chipped away at what was at one point a 13-point deficit. …

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