Hardy hits game winner, Saints edge Tors 42-40

St. Louis Catholic trailed for most of the second half but forced some late turnovers, and Bryson Hardy hit the go-ahead bucket to lift the Saints to a 42-40 win at Burton Coliseum.

“We picked it up and had a few defensive stops late in the fourth quarter,” St. Louis head coach Mack Guillory said. “Sulphur played a very good game tonight.

“They (Sulphur) had a well-executed game plan. We have to continue to improve and get better. It wasn’t one of our best performances, but it is always good when you can win.”

After a pair of free throws by Sulphur’s Felipe Michelini tied the game at 40-40, St. Louis called a timeout with 17 seconds left. Hardy got the ball at the top of the arc and worked his way into the lane. He missed a shot under pressure but rebounded his miss and put in the go-ahead bucket with four seconds left. Hardy finished with 15 points to lead the Saints (4-1) to their fourth consecutive win.

“We wanted to spread them (Sulphur) out and let him (Hardy) go one-on-one,” Guillory said. “He is our best player, and we wanted him to make a play.”

The Saints were down 33-28 with just over six minutes to play but hit back-to-back buckets, including a 3-pointer by Drew Morgan that tied the game at 33-33 with 5:10 left. The Saints turned a pair of Sulphur turnovers on back-to-back possessions into a 37-33 lead, their biggest of the game, with 3:18 left.

“I thought Drew Morgan’s three was really big,” Guillory said. “It uplifted up and gave us a little cushion.”

Sulphur turned the ball over six times in the fourth quarter with four in a three-minute span. Sulphur’s Kohl Navarre hit a three with 2:27 left to get the Tors within one, 39-38.

“It is similar to last week,” Sulphur head coach Adam Coleman said. “Our kids gave such great effort and put themselves in a great position to win the game.

“I thought looked really good for the most part, but again we had the one bad stretch where we had some costly turnovers. In the second quarter, my coaches pointed out that we didn’t have a single turnover, and we won that quarter. We are going to learn and grow from this and learn how to take better care of the ball in that moment and learn how to put games away.”

Sulphur (3-2) took its biggest lead, six points, early in the third quarter on a 3-pointer by Dawson Ortego, who finished with a game-high 16 points.

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