Bishop Stang boys basketball ends season with near-undefeated record
The Bishop Stang boys basketball team’s run at an undefeated regular season ended on February 21 with a 77-68 loss to Apponequet High.
The match-up, which was also the championship game of the first Mitch Kuliga Tournament, pitted the undefeated Spartans against the also undefeated Lakers, both with 19-0 records heading into the final game of the regular season.
Offensively, the Spartans were led by Damien Perry, who scored 37 of Bishop Stang’s 68 points in the game - 16 in the first quarter alone.
Perry’s scoring kept the Spartans on top throughout the game. By the end of the first quarter, Bishop Stang held a 19-14 lead. By halftime, Stang’s lead was whittled down to three points, at 37-34.
The turning point for the Lakers came in the fourth quarter, when Andy Johnson stepped up and put 13 points on the board for Apponequet - three three-pointers, one two-pointer, and two points.
The Spartans were only able to put 15 points on the board combined, while the Lakers gained 25 to take the win.
“In the fourth quarter they were up by 10,” said Head Coach Colbey Santos. “We cut it down to three points, but we fell apart at the end.”
That included back-to-back three-pointers which were wide open, Santos noted.
Despite the loss, the team finished its regular season 19-1. It wasn’t the perfect season some players had hoped for, but Santos noted it wasn’t stressed as much.
“We never really talked about the undefeated season,” Santos said. “We always said the next game is the biggest game we’ll ever play, because it’s the next game.”
The record earned the team the second seed in its division, although brackets are not yet out. Santos said the team will be heading into practice anticipating the start of the postseason.
“We just want to win the next game,” Santos said. “This is survival mode now. Whoever it is that we play, we’re going to get them at our place. We just have to survive and move on.”