St. Pius Loses Tough Matchup to Affton

The St. Pius X Lancers come up on the losing end of a 59-56 back-and-forth tilt against Affton, falling to 2-3 on the season.

Riding a two-game winning streak in their game at Affton, the St. Pius X Lancers seemed poised for revenge on their home loss last season to the Cougars, where they gave away a 10-point halftime lead. Unfortunately for St. Pius X, they experienced deja vu.

In a game that had many similarities to last year’s game, the St. Pius X Lancers took a loss to the host Affton Cougars 59-56. Lancers Head Coach, Chris Miller, said a lack of offensive discipline contributed to the loss.

“Teams are going to make runs against you. That’s just part of the game,” said Miller. “How we respond to a team’s run or runs is a major key to winning or losing a game. We have to be more disciplined with the ball on offense. It comes down to shot selection, decision making and execution. Right now, we are struggling in those areas and it shows.”

Like all games this year, the first five minutes of the first quarter favored St. Pius X as they opened up an 18-6 lead, thanks to cold shooting from Affton in the quarter. The Cougars went 3-for-12 from the field in the frame including missing all five 3-point attempts. The Lancers’ defense contributed to the poor shooting as they held a 19-9 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The Cougars opened the second quarter on a 5-0 run to cut into the Lancer lead. While St. Pius X held the lead throughout the quarter, the lack of discipline described by Coach Miller allowed Affton to slowly decrease that lead, which included 38% shooting from the field and four turnovers that resulted in Cougar points. Despite the team’s struggles offensively, Junior Patrick Flanagan kept the Lancers afloat, tallying 10 points in the half. At halftime, the Lancers were clinging to a 30-26 lead over the Cougars.

For the first three minutes of the second half, both teams traded punches with neither able to land any, as the score remained 30-26. However, a 16-5 barrage by Affton turned the tide of the game against St. Pius X, who continued their cold shooting from the field (37.5%), managing only three field goals. Despite questionable decisions, the Cougars continued to foul and the Lancers found themselves in the bonus in the third quarter, shooting free throws the rest of the game. Several key free throws allowed St. Pius X to cut the Affton lead and trailed 42-44 at the end of the third quarter.

Affton entered the fourth quarter determined to put St. Pius X to bed as they put together a 7-0 run and jumped out to a 51-42 lead. The Lancers did not go quietly as they battled back, cutting the Cougar lead to three as they trailed 56-53 late in the fourth.

After a made free throw by Senior Dabrein Moss, Junior John Whitman grabbed the offensive rebound from a Moss miss at the line, and quickly dropped in a shot to tie the game at 56 apiece.

Unfortunately for the Lancers, a missed defensive assignment gave the Cougars an open look from 25 feet that found nothing but the bottom of the net and gave Affton a 59-56 lead. The next Lancer possession resulted in a charge against Moss with 23 seconds remaining, and after fouling Affton on the ensuing play, a missed free throw allowed for one attempt to tie the game. A designed play for Flanagan yielded a shot, but did not connect as time expired, giving Affton the win 59-56. Despite the loss, Coach Miller believes there are positives to take away from a game like this.

“We have to be able to overcome some adversity and make good decisions. We don’t have the experience other teams do, so this is a learning process. Hopefully, we can see our mistakes on film and make the changes needed.”

Moss led the way with 16 points and six rebounds, while Flanagan was next in line with 14 points. The double-digit scoring was rounded out with James Smith (11 points) and Whitman, who had the game’s only double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

With the loss, St. Pius X drops to 2-3 on the season.

St. Pius Loses Tough Matchup to Affton
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