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Barons complete the season sweep of Jesuit

SPC beats the Tigers for the fourth time this season.

By C.J. RISAK
Published March 6, 2005


ST. PETERSBURG - This was no fun for St. Petersburg Catholic, according to coach Mike Moran. At least not playing a team for the fourth time this season, even when your side has won the first three.

But as it turned out, Jesuit never could solve the Barons.

SPC used a 20-4 run in the last 6:05 of the first quarter to open a 13-point lead, then added a 14-3 spurt in the final three minutes of the third to carry them to a 61-47 triumph Saturday.

A different cast supplemented the usual offense provided by SPC's Aaron Holmes, who poured in 25 points to lead all scorers. Joey Baker struck for 21 points, including four 3-pointers - two coming in the third quarter after Jesuit trimmed a 12-point Barons' lead to within striking distance.

"When we made that run there (in the third quarter), we had a couple of possessions where we could have made it three (points)," Jesuit coach Neal Goldman said. "We just didn't take advantage of it. They're hard to match up with. We tried to contain Holmes, but other guys stepped up."

The first quarter spelled trouble for the Tigers. They took an early 5-2 lead, but that surge by SPC (24-5) allowed the Barons to take a 22-9 lead. Jesuit (20-11) never caught up. The closest it got was in the third quarter, when the Tigers scored the first six to make it 30-24.

That's when Baker hit a triple. A basket by Jesuit's Thomas Kaiser and two free throws from Andrew Darst cut the deficit to 33-28, but Baker again tripled to push the Barons' lead to eight and ignite that 14-3 run in the last three minutes of the quarter, leaving Jesuit trailing 47-31.

"In certain games, it's a good matchup for Joey," SPC coach Mike Moran said of Baker's performance. "They're always going to be doubling (Holmes), but when Joey can play on the perimeter he's effective."

Moran also praised his defense, which shut down the Tigers' outside game. SPC had seven 3-pointers to Jesuit's three; Patrick Rice and Tyler Sterns, who according to Moran combined for 35 points in the first meeting between the teams, had just five this time.

"We didn't really do anything different, at least not defensively," Moran said. "But our defense was the difference. We did a good job on their perimeter players."

Kaiser and Darst topped Jesuit, scoring 18 and 16, respectively.