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Saratoga Catholic turns around in second half to win Christmas Tournament

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SARATOGA SPRINGS — Spa Catholic changed their outlook in the second half and went on to defeat Cambridge by a score of 57-49 at the Broadway Gym in Saratoga Springs Thursday night to win the 42nd annual Spa Catholic Christmas Tournament.

Both teams struggled in the first quarter with a lot of sloppy play and turnovers. As the game progressed the teams settled in and started to play to their strengths.

Spa Catholic is used to starting off hot after scoring 22 points in the first quarter in the opening round of the tournament versus Bishop Maginn on Wednesday. But Thursday, it was a different game.

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“A lot of guys contributed and played hard defensively and Cambridge is a real rivalry game.  It’s always physical and I thought the guys really stood up to the challenge,” Saratoga Catholic head coach Ken Mantia said.

It was a low-scoring first quarter with Spa Catholic leading only 11-7. In the second quarter Cambridge picked up the pace and outscored Spa Catholic 18-13 by hitting 3 threes and took a 25-24 lead into halftime.

The second half, however, was a different story. Spa Catholic scored 17 points in the third quarter including seven points from Junior Terel Tillman.

Tillman added 12 points tonight and was named to the all tournament team.

“The first half was a little shaky but we stepped it up, we moved the ball, we played good defense and got steals and we got the job done,” Tillman said.

The Saints were ahead 41-40 going into the 4th quarter.

Spa Catholic scored 16 in the final period of play compared to Cambridge’s dismal 9. The Saints were led in the fourth by senior Tyler Haraden who scored nine of the team’s 16 in the 4th. He was named the Tournament MVP and totaled 19 points tonight and scored 31 last night against Bishop Maginn.

“We started off slow we played to their pace but we figured our offense after the first half and came out strong in the 4th quarter and closed it out,” Haraden said.

Sophomore Tristan Williams led all scorers with 20 points for Cambridge.

After the win Spa Catholic moves to 7-1 and will travel to Berlin next Friday to resume Wasaren League play.

 

 

Brandon Karam covers Section II athletics for The Upstate Courier, and is a rising junior at Saratoga Central Catholic. He can be reached via his email, BrandonRK2@gmail.com