Monday, March 10, 2014


With a chance at a spot in the conference championship game at stake, the St. Catharine Patriots (18-12) took on the #2 Pikeville Bears (23-2) on Saturday. The Patriots knew that any contest with the Bears would be a battle, but after falling to the Bears in the opening round of 2013 conference tournament, the Patriots were hungry for vengeance. After falling behind by as many as 10 in the first half, the Patriots were able to rally in the final minutes, capped off by a three pointer with 28 seconds remaining from William Bailey (Valley, Ala.) to send the Patriots into the break trailing by on six.' In the second half the patriots got off to a slow start, trailing by as many as 13, but the Patriots clawed back once more off of an Omar Skinner (New Castle, Del.) layup to spark an 8-2 run. With the Patriots trailing by five and just over two minutes remaining, William Tolefree (Stone Mountain, Ga.) would find Omar Skinner under the basket for a layup to cut the lead to just three. However, the Patriot offense would go cold in the final minute, allowing the Bears to tear off a 5-0 run and pull out to an eight point advantage. With the Patriots trying to extend the game by fouling, the Bears took advantage from the free throw line, missing only one shot in the final minute of the contest to propel them to a 78-69 victory. The Patriots were led by Omar Skinner with 25 points and nine rebounds, while William Tolefree added 15 points and six boards. Despite the loss the Patriots still have an opportunity at a national tournament bid. Going into the tournament the Patriots were ranked 30th, which places them just inside the 32 teams that will be selected. The bracket for the national tournament will be announced Wednesday evening, and Head Coach JT Burton will definitely be watching.