St. Thomas Academy Edges East Boys In Consolation Championship
ST PAUL, MINN. — The Mankato East boys’ basketball team was defeated by St. Thomas Academy 68-62 in the AAA consolation championship game on Friday, March 23 in the 2018 Minnesota State High School state tournament at Concordia University.
The Cougars had a strong first half, shooting 46.9% from the field while holding the Cadets to 34.5%. Damani Hayes lead East in scoring in the half, making 5 of 7 for 10 points and pulling down 5 rebounds. East took a narrow 35-31 lead into the half.
The Cougars held onto a lead for most of the second half, until St. Thomas pulled ahead with just over two minutes left. Leading the way for the Cadets was senior guard Sam Vascellaro and junior guard Jack Thompson who both finished with 16 points. Senior guard Dennis Kelly also tallied an impressive five steals.
The Cougars welcomed a big game from senior forward Damani Hayes, who ended the game with 16 points and 2 blocks and 7 rebounds. Forward Uhana Ochan tallied 13 points and 5 rebounds while Edmon Oyet hauled in 8 rebounds and scored 6 points for Mankato East. Jax Madson was the only other Cougar scoring in double figures putting in 12 points.
Mankato East dominated inside as they scored 42 points in the paint, compared to St. Thomas Academy’s 26. However, it was not enough as St. Thomas prevailed with a six-point win.
Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total
St. Thomas Academy 31 37 68
Mankato East 35 27 62
East Scoring: Demon Oyet 6; Jax Madson 12; Damani Hayes 16; Joich Gong 2; Uhana Ochan 13; Kong Kong 4; Ben Ziegler 1; Jordan Merseth 8.