HOLLIDAYSBURG - After christening their new gymnasium with a win over Altoona Friday, the Hollidaysburg Golden Tiger boys basketball team hoped to make two in a row at the new digs and win their own tournament in the process.
St. Johns wasn't very cooperative, however. The Cadets out of Washington, D.C. won the ninth annual Hollidaysburg Tiger Roundball Classic Saturday with a 57-41 victory over Hollidaysburg in the championship game.
Julian DeBose scored a game-high 17 points and Jamaal Powell just missed a double-double with 14 points and nine rebounds to lead St. Johns.
The 7-1 Cadets jumped out to an early nine-point lead, but Jarrett Shannon's jumpshot with time running out in the first quarter made it a 13-6 game.
Pat Cassidy opened the second quarter with an inside bucket to pull Hollidaysburg within 5, but soon after, the Cadets got their running game going and ripped off 10 quick points.
After Chris Martin sank a 3-pointer, Denzel Primus-Devonish scored back-to-back buckets on fast breaks created by Hollidaysburg turnovers. The senior point guard ended the run with a pair of free throws after being fouled on yet another fast break opportunity.
"We got out and started running a little bit their in the second quarter," St. Johns coach Paul DeStefano said. "We made good decisions, hit some shots and played unselfishly. That's been the real mark of this team so far this year."
Shannon stopped the run with a 3-pointer from the right corner, but that didn't slow St. Johns one bit. The Cadets scored eight of the next nine points and took a 19-point lead to the half.
Hollidaysburg struggled with St. Johns quick guards and athletic forwards on both ends of the court throughout the first half. Hollidaysburg committed 14 turnovers to just seven for the Cadets, and St. Johns out-rebounded the Golden Tigers 16-9 in the first half.
"We haven't faced teams with that much ability," Hollidaysburg coach Mick Pentoney said. "They're so athletic and so quick off their feet. It's very hard to get to the basket against them, and once you do, it's hard to shoot over them."
The Golden Tigers didn't hang their heads, however. They played a strong third quarter and at one point had the St. Johns lead down to 10.
The Golden Tigers made four 3-pointers in the quarter to make it a 41-31 game late in the third. Michael Appleman drained two treys while Jordan Swauger and Cassidy hit one apiece.
St. Johns scored to end the quarter, though and then went on an 8-0 run at the start of the fourth quarter to put the game away.
"They did a great job of spotting up their shooters and hitting the '3' in the in the third quarter. We were lucky we had another spurt in us," DeStefano said.
Hollidaysburg made nine 3-pointers in the game but had only six 2-pointers and shot just four free throws.
"We take the challenge of playing those types of teams because it'll make us a better team," Pentoney said. "I really believe that we'll be a better team Monday because of this game than if we would have played somebody we could have pounded."
Appleman finished with a team-high 12 points, Cassidy scored nine and Shannon added eight. Swauger had seven points to go along with a team-high six rebounds.
Debose received tournament Most Valuable Player honors. Members of the all-tournament included Cassidy, Appleman, Powell, Altoona's Robert Johnson and Washington's Charles Haigler.
ST. JOHNS (57): Primus-Devonish 4 3-3 11, Martin 3 2-2 9, DeBose 6 4-4 17, McNeill-Moses 3 0-0 6, Powell 6 2-4 14, Pope 0 0-0 0, Witts 0 0-0 0, Koebke 0 0-0 0. Totals - 22 11-15 57.
HOLLIDAYSBURG (41): Cassidy 3 1-2 9, Appleman 4 0-0 12, Swauger 3 0-0 7, Redfoot 2 0-0 4, Rhodes 0 1-2 1, Shannon 3 0-0 8, Keefer 0 0-0 0. Totals - 15 2-4 41.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
St. Johns13 23 7 14 - 57
Hollidaysburg6 11 14 10 - 41
3-point goals: St. Johns 2 (Martin, DeBose); Hollidaysburg 9 (Appleman 4, Shannon 2, Cassidy 2, Swauger).
Records: St. Johns (7-1); Hollidaysburg (2-3).