St. Francis Catholic Steamrolls Redeemer Christian en Route to District Title
By Cassandra Swartz
The first few minutes of Friday’s 2A-2 district championship game were an intense, back-and-forth battle between the top two seeds, but the rest of the game was all St. Francis, all over the court.
At one point in the first quarter, the Wolves and Lions were tied at 13 apiece, but the final score leaned heavily in the home team’s favor, ending 66-35 and awarding the district title to the Wolves for the first time since 2018.
St. Francis won the tipoff and scored the first four points of the game before Redeemer Christian started getting hot. The Wolves began pulling away to end the first, with the score being 19-13 at that initial break. Then they ramped up the play in the second quarter, putting up another 20 points to the Lions’ 10 to make it 39-23 at half.
Any chances of a comeback for the visiting team were squashed as St. Francis poured it on in the third quarter. The Wolves went on an 11-0 run to start the second half, putting the Lions at a 50-23 disadvantage with only 4:13 left in the third quarter. Redeemer Christian was only able to make two field goals in the third quarter, making it a 61-27 game with only a quarter left to play.
Part of that third quarter run by the Wolves came from four consecutive three-pointers made by junior guards Ashton Lovette and Omarion Littles.
Comfortable in its lead and already looking ahead to the next game, St. Francis sat some of its starters for the last eight minutes. Redeemer Christian outscored its competitors in that last quarter 8-5, but it wasn’t nearly enough to close the gap. Players off the bench helped the Wolves cruise to the 31-point win.
St. Francis was led by stars Aidan Newman and Lovette. In less than 24 minutes each, they both scored in the double digits. Newman ended with 21 points, shooting 10-18 on the night. Lovette was 5-10 shooting and put up 15 points. Newman also had three assists and four defensive rebounds. Lovette tacked on four assists, five defensive rebounds and five steals.
Littles scored 14 points, boosted by a big night from behind the arc.
St. Francis will host St. John Paul II on Thursday for a ticket to the Regional Semifinals. Redeemer Christian wasn’t eliminated by the loss, but will have to travel to Florida High for a chance to advance.