High School Sports

Providence Day boys can’t overcome basketball slowdown from out-of-state St. James

The St. James Saints, from Hagerstown, Md., claimed their second N.C. victim Monday at the Hoodies House of Hope High School Hoops Classic at Ardrey Kell.

St. James beat Providence Day 57-50 in the semifinals of the tournament, two days after knocking off Northside Christian 66-48 on the tournament’s opening day.

On Monday, the Saints (7-1) had four players in double figures, and were led by Virginia Tech signee Justin Robinson, who scored a game-high 23 points to go with nine assists. Omar Haweb and Craig Lecense each had 11 points and Bryce Golden 10.

The Chargers (10-4) had just one player score in double figures as Josh Howard netted 18. Grant Williams had eight points and a game-high nine rebounds. Chaz Raye and Isaac Johnson added eight points apiece for the Chargers.

St. James is ranked seventh in Maryland by maxpreps.com. The Chargers are ranked sixth in North Carolina.

“I thought we played hard,” Providence Day coach Brian Field said. “Really, all you can control is how hard you compete and I thought we competed today. They’re a very good team and I was proud of us that when we got down we didn’t throw in the towel.”

St. James led most of the game, and by as many as 11. Once the Saints built a lead they went into slowdown-mode late in the second quarter and most of the second half. Providence Day had eight steals and swatted away several St. James passes during that time but never could get the lead.

“It was really frustrating because it was so close,” Howard said of the slowdown. “I don’t know what we could have done differently. We played really good defense.”

Howard had several key buckets underneath late as Providence Day twice trimmed the Saints lead to two points during the final 90 seconds. But St. James did a good job to get two quick baskets after breaking the Chargers press in the final minute. The Saints added free throws to hang on for the seven-point win.

Saints coach Dan Prete said Providence Day compared favorably to the rest of his team’s schedule, which has included teams from Virginia, Washington, Florida and Pennsylvania.

“We’ve been following them because we thought we might run into them,” he said. “My opinion is they are one of the best coached teams in North Carolina, and might be the best.”

St. James 16 16 7 19 57
Providence Day 13 11 7 19 50

ST. JAMES: Justin Robinson 23, Omar Haweb 11, Craig Lacense 11, Bryce Golden 10, Bartlett 2.

PROVIDENCE DAY: Josh Howard 16, Raye 8, Williams 8, Johnson 8, Lee 5, Wertz 5.

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