St. Edward boys basketball coach P.J. White wanted to emphasize how much Friday night's victory was a team effort.
Four players scored in double figures as the Green Wave beat host Westminster Christian, 60-46, to win Pool A and advance to the championship game of the 6th annual Warrior Thanksgiving Classic.
"The kids played hard, for four quarters I think they played hard," White said. "If we can keep the inside-outside thing going, we'll be just fine."
St. Edward (3-0) will play Suburban Christian Conference rival Immaculate Conception (3-0), which rallied to beat Indian Creek to win Pool B, in the title game at 7 p.m. today. The Warriors face Indian Creek at 5:30 p.m. in the third-place game.
Adrian Ponce got the Green Wave started quickly Friday, scoring 8 of his 24 points in the first quarter. DaVontae Elam scored 7 points during a 9-0 fourth-quarter run that opened up the game after the Warriors got within 3, 47-44. In between the quick start and game-clinching run, Luke Duffy scored 12 points and Antonio Domel added 10, including a pair of 3-pointers.
"Just a team effort. We played hard from the start," said Elam, who finished with 11 points off the bench. "We didn't give up."
Ponce and Elam, who scored 4 points in the first quarter, led St. Edward to a 14-8 lead heading to the second quarter. A pair of free throws from Duffy gave the Green Wave a 10-point lead, 23-13, with 3:43 remaining in the first half. Westminster got within 2, 25-23 with 53 seconds left in the half on a Robert Kleczynski layup.
The Green Wave led by 9, 37-28, midway through the third quarter only to see the Warriors again get within 2, 41-39 with 17 seconds left in the third. St. Edward got up by 5 early in the fourth before a layup from Westminster's Sam Carani cut the Green Wave lead to 47-44.
St. Edward finally put away the Warriors with a 9-0 run. Elam had an offensive rebound and putback to start the run. Domel had a layup and a brilliant drop-back pass to Elam for another layup. After a Duffy block, Elam converted a 3-point play with 4:14 left for a 56-44 Green Wave lead.
"We couldn't get enough defensive stops to give ourselves a chance to get a lead," Westminster coach Bruce Firchau said. "We had some turnovers. They had that explosion and the game got out of hand in about a minute and a half."
Colin Brandon led Westminster with 14 points. Will Woodhouse added 10 points and 6 rebounds. Carani and Kleczynski each had 6 points.
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