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Bruins reap third-place victory

SPRING VALLEY – The St. Bede Bruins went 3-1 in the 39th annual Colmone Classic, claiming the third-place trophy along the way, by outlasting the Plano Reapers, 59-47, Saturday night at Hall High School’s Red Devil Gymnasium.

The Bruins excelled over the course of the game’s first half. St. Bede led, 15-7, after eight minutes, then really put their collective foot on the offensive accelerator, pouring in 24 second-quarter points – on 10-13 shooting (3-4 treys) from the field – to take a seemingly commanding 25-point lead, 39-14, at the break.

“It’s the best we could be, is 3-1,” said SB coach Mike Kilmartin of his team’s finish in the Colmone Classic, following a loss earlier in the week to Mendota in pool play. “We played a great first half. Then we played tentative. We played not to lose.

“Obviously, they (Plano) are a good ball game. They’re very athletic. I saw them play (Friday) night. They had 41 points at the half. (So) I was really proud of our defensive effort in the first half.”

But the Reapers came roaring back in the third quarter, laying a 21-6 offensive onslaught on the Bruins and closing the St. Bede lead to just 10 points, 45-35, entering the final period.

St. Bede went just 3-12 from the field and committed seven turnovers in the third frame, allowing Plano to rally. During the period, the Reapers were led by Elijah Wallace, who scored nine of his team’s 21 points.

“We told (our players) at halftime we weren’t going to salt this (away) early (in the second half), because we knew we wouldn’t shoot as well, and I will say we took some bad shots with the lead,” Kilmartin said. “Instead of running clock, we tossed them up. That’s something I’m disappointed in. We had some seniors do that.

“Tale of two halves, boy. I’m disappointed we let them back in the ball game, but I’m proud that, obviously, we got the win.”

The Bruins pushed back out to a 14-point lead, 51-37, on a Sam Lucas three-pointer followed by 1-2 free throws by Brad Groleau with 6:38 to play.

The Reapers rallied again, getting to within six, 53-47, with 1:16 left, but Groleau’s layup off a Joe Pyszka feed 11 seconds later started the Bruins on a 6-0 run to end the game. That offensive string included 4-6 converted free throws by St. Bede.

Pyszka’s 16 points and 12 rebounds paced the Bruins (8-2), followed by Groleau’s 15 tallies and Damon Smith’s 10 points and eight rebounds.

Cody Dryden (20 points) and Wallace (12) were tops for Plano’s offense.

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