In a game that they needed to win, following a tough overtime loss against Cleveland Central Catholic, the Saint Ignatius varsity basketball team delivered on Monday, with a dominant 76-58 win against Villa Angela-Saint Joseph.
This was as close to a wire-to-wire victory for the Cats that they have enjoyed all season. The Wildcats jumped out to a lead early, up 17-10 in the first quarter, and held off the Vikings thought the first half.
The main reason for this commanding win was execution, as the team was able to execute Head Coach Brian Becker’s offense to perfection. Both coaching and preparation-wise, the Wildcats dominated the Vikings in every facet of the game.
The Basketball Cats enjoyed one of the best shooting nights it has had all season, led by Daniel Nunez-Vergara. The junior was hot from the 3-point line all game, hitting 5 threes and scoring 21 points. Senior Lukas Bielek hit good shots, too, scoring 11.
“There was a lot of energy in the locker room,” Bielek said of the Cats great shooting night.
The Cats jumped out to a 39-25 lead at halftime after three straight treys from Nunez-Vergara gave the team forward momentum.
The Wildcats not only had a great shooting night, but were dominant inside the perimeter as well, led by senior Kevin Davet. His play in the paint spearheaded a strong post game that outmatched the Vikings. The mid-range scoring for Davet was working on Monday, as he finished the night with 16 points. Davet scored a lot of his buckets in the 3rd, which led the Cats to a 59-40 advantage in heading into the fourth quarter.
In the final quarter, the Cats put the game away. Senior Lores Valenzuela and sophomore Henry Raynor continued the trend of dominating in the paint, especially in rebounding.
“Coming off these losses in the past few weeks, we were determined to make a statement,” Valenzuela said in regard to the post play. “When our bigs rebound, we’re hard to beat.”
The Cats finished strong in the fourth quarter, adding a number of points via free throws to win the game, 76-58
The Wildcats now look forward to their next opponent – Louisville. The two teams will face off Friday at 7:30 p.m., live on the SIBN.