It may have taken Metuchen, N.J. St. Joseph a couple of extra days to take the court in the 41st annual HighSchoolOT.com Holiday Invitational, but the Falcons made the most of their inaugural appearance in the tourney, downing Raleigh Broughton 58-50 in the Summit Hospitality bracket semifinals.
St. Joseph was supposed to play Holly Springs in the Summit quarterfinals, but inclement weather kept the Falcons stuck on an airport tarmac in New York. The Falcons won a coin flip with Holly Springs to advance to the winner’s bracket, while the Golden Hawks were delegated to the consolation bracket.
“It took us 15 hours to get here, but we were just fortunate to get down here and play well,” said junior forward Karl Towns.
The Falcons overcame a sloppy first quarter and then held off the Capitals to advance to the Summit championship game. St. Joseph will face the winner of Friday’s DeSoto, Texas-Hampton, Va. game at 7:20 p.m. on Saturday.
“It was a tough game today; we thought we’d have an opportunity to put them away in the third quarter,” St. Joseph coach Dave Turco said. “Broughton fought hard and made some big shots.”
The Falcons (4-1) were led by Towns, a Kentucky recruit and the nation’s top-rated center, who finished with 17 points and 7 rebounds. Towns was aided by Marques Townes 16 points and Wade Baldwin IV’s 15.
Broughton, which fell to 9-2, was led with 14 points by Devonte’ Graham and 12 points and 9 rebounds from James Hemphill. The Capitals players were especially thankful for the boisterous contingent of Broughton fans who turned Holliday Gymnasium into a true home-court advantage Friday night.
“It was great to have our community come out and support us,” Broughton coach Jeff Ferrell said.
Broughton will face the loser of the DeSoto-Hampton game at 4 p.m. on Saturday for third-place of the Summit bracket.
End 1Q: Broughton 11, St. Joseph 10
Halftime: St. Joseph 31, Broughton 19. SJ led by Karl Towns and Marques Towns with 9 points each; Broughton led by 7 points from Jamie Rucker
End 3Q: St. Joseph 42, Broughton 39
Final: St. Joseph 58, Broughton 50
St. Joseph 10 21 11 16 – 58
Broughton 11 8 20 11 – 50
St. Joseph: Karl Towns 17, Marques Townes 16, Wade Baldwin IV 15, James Long Jr. 3, Brian Fitzpatrick 3, James Ziemba 2, Matthew Olivo 2.
Broughton: Devonte’ Graham 14, James Hemphill 12, Jamie Rucker 7, Cameron Gottfried 7, Chase Johnston 5, Chris Brickhouse 4, Vonshae Lewis 1.