Sandburg rides dominant fourth period to win

SHARE Sandburg rides dominant fourth period to win

Sandburg would like to forget how poorly it played in the third quarter against Bremen on Thursday.

A sterling fourth quarter should do the trick.

After blowing a 14-point lead and briefly watching Bremen edge in front, the Eagles responded by scoring the final 18 points of the game to pull out a 49-33 victory in the opening round of the 40th annual Jack Tosh Holiday Classic at York.

“I thought we played good for three quarters,” Sandburg coach Todd Allen said. “They did a good job scrambling us up a little bit in the third quarter. We missed some shots, we missed some layups, got careless with the basketball.

“I thought we had scoring opportunities inside. We just didn’t capitalize and they made some shots, but I thought our guys responded well in the fourth quarter.”

The Eagles (4-5) led 30-16 when Bremen’s Demontea Carpenter scored on a layup with 2:10 left in the third quarter. That started a 17-1 run that saw the Braves (4-5) take a 33-31 lead on a jumper by Tony Weathersby with 5:02 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Sandburg had missed 15 of its last 17 shots at that point but responded on the next possession with a layup from Omar Mansour. Senior Niko Cahue then scored off a pass from Eric Straka to put the Eagles ahead for good and added a pair of free throws on the next possession.

“During the timeout [at the end of the third quarter] we said we’re bigger than them, we’re stronger than them, let’s get our heads out of our you-know-whats and score,” Cahue said. “We were up big at halftime and all of a sudden they came out and shocked us, so we had to get the job done and win.”

Cahue, a 6-7 center, led the way, using his superior size to overwhelm the smaller Braves with a much-needed 20-point, 14-rebound effort, which included a 6-for-8 showing from the free-throw line. Cahue and Straka, who each had 11 points, eight rebounds and two blocks, made up for the fact that leading three-point shooter Niko Kogionis was held scoreless on 0-for-7 shooting.

“Everyone knows he’s a shooter, so they must have done their homework and they must have known he’s a lights-out shooter,” Cahue said. “They probably played hard on him and it opened up things in the middle.”

The Eagles outrebounded Bremen 36-22 and salted the game away at the free-throw line by making 12 of their last 13 foul shots. Alec Martinez went 6-for-6 from the line and finished with 12 points and Peter Paxinos sank his only shot, a trey, during the final run.

Deon Jackson paced Bremen with 12 points.

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