Behind Sullivan’s 32-point performance, St. Joseph takes down Propel Braddock Hills
Friday, December 6, 2019 | 11:15 PM
St. Joseph guard Andrew Sullivan has been big for the Spartans over the course of his high school career.
On Friday, the junior guard put his team on his back down the stretch and scored the final four of his 32 points to secure a 49-45 victory over Propel Braddock Hills in the first round of the St. Joseph tip-off tournament at the Walter Dlubak Athletic Center in Natrona Heights.
“It’s great, especially for a young and almost inexperienced team, we don’t have a lot of varsity experience,” Sullivan said. “For a team like this, it’s a great win, it gets everyone excited for the season, they know what’s coming and we got a taste of what the season is going to be like.”
Sullivan got hot early on for the Spartans as he scored 11 of their first 17 points in the first quarter, while they held Propel Braddock Hills to just 10 points.
That continued throughout the first half, but when the Lions came out of the locker room at halftime they were ready to get themselves back into the game; it came in the form of guard CD Johnson.
Johnson led the Lions on a 10-0 run to start the second half by scoring eight straight, including a stretch of four straight free throws. Midway through the third quarter, the Lions were up 34-29.
“We changed up the little things at halftime, we needed to get better defensively and we wanted to get some looks in transition offensively,” Propel coach Josh Harris said. “So, I think that got us back into the game in the second half.”
As the Spartans trailed, first-year coach Hart Coleman brought his players together and told them to hang on as they needed to survive the ebbs and flows in the game.
Slowly but surely, St. Joseph fought its way back into the game and held a two-point lead going into the fourth quarter.
“I told them there are going to be runs, so don’t over think it,” Coleman said. “I have a saying, it only takes a minute to cook one-minute rice, so don’t over think it, just keep playing and going into the fourth quarter we really understood what we needed to do.”
The Lions went on a mini-run that gave them seven-point lead with five minutes to go. But Coleman’s advice stuck with his players, and they continued to bounce back. This time, it was senior guard Dom Fellowes who came up big.
With just under two minutes to play, Fellowes hit one of the biggest shots of the night, a deep 3-pointer from the right side to tie the game at 45.
“His 3 wasn’t hitting and he was getting a little down on himself,” Coleman said. “So I just kept telling him, the next play, the next play, the next play, and then he hit that 3 to tie the game. That was clutch.”
Sullivan took it the rest of the way as he scored the final four points to secure the victory for St. Joseph and start the season on the right foot.
“It feels great for the season opener,” Sullivan said of his performance. “It’s a long season, but it’s great to have a nice start.”
Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .
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