St. Edward stymies shorthanded Westminster Christian

By Jared Birchfield
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 11/29/2019 11:07 PM

The Green Wave was more like a tsunami to Westminster Christian Friday night in the final pool play game of its Thanksgiving Tournament.

St. Edward overwhelmed Westminster, 47-12.


The win earned the Green Wave (2-1) a berth in Saturday's third-place game against Elgin Academy (2-1).

"I know that they are missing a couple of their players, including their sophomore shooter (Justin Glanzer)," said second-year St. Edward coach Andy Zielinski. "I thought we did well on the defensive end. We were better than Wednesday, let's put it that way."

In addition to missing Glanzer and Erik Haegeland, Westminster coach Damion Abrams limited Frankie Schlaffer, who is recovering from a broken foot, to a few minutes in the second half.

However, Abrams did not attribute the loss to a depleted roster.

"We were missing three starters tonight but that being said I will not use that as an excuse," Abrams said. "It's a young group. Once they learn to slow the game down and understand the game is not moving as fast as they think it is, then they will be fine."

Westminster turned the ball over 27 times including six on St. Edward steals.

Westminster's Mitchel McGrath scored the first two points of the game. But after that it was all Green Wave as they sank 6 baskets and two free throws to take a 14-2 lead at the end of the first quarter.

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St. Edward hit low tide in the second quarter, managing only eight points, but still led 22-3 at halftime.

Nathanael Ephrem scored Westminster's only point of the second quarter on a free throw with 1:20 left in the half. The freshman aided the Warriors' defense with six rebounds and a steal.

"Ephrem's electric. He still doesn't understand what he has," said Abrams. "Once that switch comes on and he understands his ability, he is going to be a force in our conference."

The Green Wave flow was much stronger in the third quarter, scoring 19 points to widen the lead to 41-8 after 24 minutes of play.

"We were stuck on 19 (in the second quarter). We talked about that at halftime. I thought part of that was we were not patient enough and we weren't screening as well as we did (in the first quarter)," Zielinski said. "In the third quarter they came out and picked up the pace. Second half was pretty good. I thought they played well."

St. Edward's JP McGuire scored 11 of his game-high 15 points in the frame, including the only 3-pointer of the night. Classmate Sebastian Oquendo tallied 10 points on the night and notched three steals. Liam Pomeroy added 8 points for the Green Wave.

Westminster (0-3) will play Christian Liberty (0-3) for seventh place on Saturday.

Elgin (1-2), which dropped a 43-42 decision to Genoa-Kingston (3-0) Friday, will face Hinkley-Big Rock (1-2) in the fifth place game while Genoa squares off with Chicago Military Academy (3-0) for the first place trophy.

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