Sports

St. Joseph’s boys’ basketball team earns the first postseason victory in school history

St. Joseph’s earned a milestone win for not only its boys’ basketball program, but also for the entire school on Tuesday night.

The 10th-seeded Wolves (9-14) came from behind to beat No. 7 Glendale 67-61 in a play-in game of the District 6 Class A playoffs at Bishop Carroll High School. It was the first postseason victory for the two-year old program and the first for any St. Joseph’s team.

“We know we have some good ball players and we’re excited about our program, not just this for year but for the future too,” St. Joseph’s coach Richard Ciambotti said.

For now, the immediate future holds another game. St. Joseph’s will play No. 2 Homer Center at a time and place to be determined on Friday. On Tuesday, the Wolves’ fate was still to be determined after playing Glendale (11-11) close in the first half.

Stephen Beattie knocked down all of the Wolves fist 13 points — with nine of them coming on 3-pointers — before the Vikings switched up their defensive look to slow Beattie up. They did so with a box-and-one defense, sending their best defender to man-up on Beattie.

The strategy worked. Glendale went on a 19-7 run in the second quarter and led 28-25 at halftime.

“We had to adjust and figure out how to get Stephen looks still and to get the other guys going,” Ciambotti said. “We have some other kids that can score so we had to get them going.”

And with Beattie heavily shadowed, his teammates picked up the pace. They did so by first locking Glendale down with stingy defense — they kept Glendale’s forwards from doing damage in the paint — and draining shots from beyond the arc the other way.

While Beattie finished with a team-best 24 points, forward Michael Jabco chipped in 17 and Michael Kresovich added two “big threes” in the third quarter to get the Wolves going again. St. Joseph’s outscored Glendale 20-9 in the third and closed out the second half with a 42-33 run.

“We’ve been talking about one game seasons,” Ciambotti said. “You can be very happy and be proud to win a playoff game no matter the circumstance. The more important thing is to learn from the things you didn’t do well.”

The Wolves will have a few days to do so before facing Homer Center.

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