'All-around' effort sends McAuley to consolation championship

Dec. 1—It was a sluggish start to the game on Wednesday night inside the middle school gymnasium at Diamond.

McAuley (1-2) boys met Diamond (0-2) for a semifinal match-up on the consolation side of the bracket in the Gem City Classic. After pulling away from the Wildcats in the third quarter, the Warriors went on to win 42-31.

After being all tied up at 14 going into the break, McAuley got it going on offense in the second half. The Warriors added 14 more in both the third and fourth quarters.

With a defensive stand in the third quarter — holding Diamond to just five points — McAuley led nine heading into the final stanza.

"It was a team defensive effort all around," McAuley head coach Tony Witt said. "We put the clamps down on them down the stretch and stretched the lead out in the third quarter. It was a complete effort rebounding and defensively."

McAuley was led offensively by Noah Black with 20 points. Michael Parrigon and Rocco Bazzano-Joseph added nine more a piece. Black dropped in three triples while Parrigon and Bazzano-Joseph added one more a piece.

Ty McDermott finished with 14 points to lead Diamond. Ayden Lorenzen added seven points and chipped in one triple. Blake Irwin added a 3-pointer for the Wildcats as well.

"We struggled to shoot the ball tonight," Diamond head coach Eric Henningsen said. "They packed in a zone and were giving us open looks at the 3 and we couldn't finish. McAuley also rebounded well.

"It's been a rough start to our season but we know what to focus on moving forward."

McAuley will play Carthage JV on Friday at 7:30 pm. for the consolation championship. Diamond will meet Sarcoxie to play for 7th place at 6 pm Friday.