St Anthony dug deep for a 60-57 win in the first round of the CIF-SS Division 1 playoffs on the road against Dominguez High School. They were lead by Jaayden Bush who had a game high 21 points, and Elijah Price who finished with 17 points, 12 rebounds, and 5 blocks.
“We have to be consistent for four quarters. First half we were up 31-18, but the third quarter we let that lead drop a little bit. We just have to be consistent all 32 minutes,” said Price.
St Anthony controlled the game for the entire first half, even after enduring a big second quarter run coming from Dominguez. The Saints led 31-18 going into the break.
They let their foot off the gas coming out of halftime and Dominguez took advantage of that. The Saints were having a hard time taking care of the ball and getting stops in transition. Dominguez shot the ball at a high rate in the third quarter, bringing them to within four points going into the final quarter. The Saints were holding on to a 44-40 lead.
The Saints went into the final quarter and extended their lead back to double digits. Josiah Reed-Spratley and Amaan Zavahir knocked down back to back triples to force Dominguez into a timeout after going down 52-42. The Dons continued to fight their way back into the game. They responded with two three pointers of their own to get back with striking distance.
With less than a minute to go and up by one, St Anthony had possession on the Dominguez baseline but was called for a violation on the inbounds pass. On the following possession, Jakhari Carr could not get his floater to drop but Isaac Sowell cleaned it up on the offensive glass and gave the Dons a late 57-56 lead.
St Anthony was in need of a score, but Jaayden Bush was trapped in the corner and almost had no way out. Fortunately for the Saints, Dominguez was called for a foul and Bush was sent to the line where he knocked down two free throws to regain the lead.
Dominguez had another shot at extending their season, but Bush jumped the passing lane and came up with a steal leading to a fast break score to put St Anthony up three with less than ten seconds. A last second three did not go in for the Dons, and St Anthony survived to play another round.
They’ll host Santa Margarita on Tuesday evening.