SARATOGA SPRINGS —The Saratoga Central Catholic Saints played their first home league game tonight against the Cambridge Indians. Strong guard play by senior Jake Welcome lead the Saints to a 63-51 victory.
Jake Welcome, a second year varsity senior was SCC’s leading scorer. Welcome’s 23 points, coming on five for six shooting and five for six from the free throw line. Most of his points came during a Saints 9-2 run at the end of the first quarter.
“They were slower than me so I just went to the basket at the beginning. The second half came and they came up more on me which allowed more space for me to pass out which is when Ryan McCarroll and Jordan (Catone) started heating up,” said Welcome.
Thanks to Welcome’s efforts in the first quarter, the Saints found themselves with a 20-12 lead at the end of the first quarter. Cambridge finally found their stride when junior Brian Hall scored 11 straight points for the Indians. Following the 11-3 run by Cambridge, Welcome and Ryan McCarroll, SCC’s sophomore forward found their legs and pushed the lead back to eight at the halftime break.
Following the halftime intermission, the Saint starters continued to control the game as they brought their lead to 45-28 in the third quarter and with that came a false sense of security for the Saints. The Indians played lockdown defense and burned Spa Catholic from behind the arc while cutting their deficit to just six points.
Head coach John Catone said, “We are very height challenged so we fight the whole game but we’re just so small that they could find a way.”
By the time the fourth quarter began, the Saints were well settled into the play of Cambridge. Saratoga Catgolic went on another 9-2 run, this time led by Ryan McCarroll with five points. This put the Indians in quite a bind as they only had three minutes to make up an 11 point deficit. They moved into a hard nosed press which forced the Saints into lots of lucky cross court passes. Cambridge was unable to capitalize on SCC’s sloppy play and they were forced to try and foul back into the game.
Jake Welcome said, “We actually had a strange lineup in. Typically we don’t run our press break with that group. But we figured it out pretty fast and that made it fairly easy.”
With tonight’s win Saratoga Central Catholic advances to 4-1 on the season. The Saints will play out in Hoosick Valley this Wednesday before returning home for their annual Christmas tournament against Corinth, Cambridge and Bishop Maginn.