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Broncos spoil St. Mary’s ‘knight’ with 56-53 win

Brophy 56
St. Mary’s 53

By Tyler J. Scott ’12

Photo by Ben Jackson '11 - Sophomore James Harper goes up for a shot over St. Mary's defenders Jan. 30. Harper finished the 56-53 win with 19 points.

Behind a 19-point, four-rebound game from James Harper ’12, the Brophy Broncos beat the reigning 5A-1 state champions St. Mary’s on their home floor Saturday, Jan. 30.

The win comes on the heels of Brophy upsetting No. 1 ranked Mesa the previous night by a score of 56-51.

Ryan Milne ’10 finished the St. Mary’s rivalry win with 10 points, including two three-point shots.

Missed free throws early by St. Mary’s turned out to be critical. The Knights went 16-29 from the line while the Broncos only missed five, going 16-21.

Harper ’12 went 10-11 on free throws, only missing his last one.

The Knight’s leading scorer was George Matthews. He amassed 17 points in a losing effort while Anthony Hendrix and Jordan Didier also contributed 10 each.

Brophy found themselves down two at the end of the first quarter, 16-14, but they outscored the Knights 14-8 in the second to go into halftime with a four point lead, 28-24.

The Broncos never gave the lead back, but the Knights cut it to one point three times in the fourth quarter only to have Brophy answer back each time.

St. Mary’s cut the Broncos’ advantage to 49-48 late in the fourth-quarter, but Jon Vimmerstedt ’10 grabbed a rebound and got the ball to Milne. Milne then connected with Vimmerstedt at the other end for an open layup to stretch the lead to 51-48.

With about two minutes left, the Knights clawed their way back into it once again, cutting it to 51-50. Chris Pierre ’11 stole the ball and passed it down the court, resulting in Harper free throws to gain some breathing room, 53-50.

But the Knights would not go away. They were trailing 54-53 with 23 seconds left when the Broncos broke the full-court press and Michael Brennan ’10 got an open layup to go up 56-53.

After St. Mary’s missed a potentially game-tying three pointer, Vimmerstedt grabbed his fifth rebound and they passed it to Harper who ran out the clock.

“Beating a talented team like St. Mary’s gives us more confidence going against other talented teams,” head coach Mr. Tony Fuller said about the win.

Coach Fuller also praised Harper for his improvement this season.

“James’ defense and rebounding have improved and it has helped our team,” he said.

The final score was 56-53. The Knights lead this historic rivalry matchup 70-56 all-time including this game.

The Broncos will face Red Mountain away for their next game on Feb. 2.

Editor’s Note: Updated Feb. 3 with quotes from Mr. Tony Fuller.

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