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January 14, 2008

St. Rayís Falls to St. Patís at Garden

A bad weekend for St. Raymond's got worse on Sunday afternoon, as the Ravens took an ugly loss to New Jersey's St. Patrick's, 64-56, at the Nike Super Six at Madison Square Garden.


Stymied by the St. Pat's defense, St. Ray's didn't much resemble the high-octane, scoreboard-abusing team that fans had come accustomed to seeing this season. The Ravens shot just 17-for-66 from the floor - 0-for-14 from three - in dropping their second game in as many days following 13 straight victories to start the season.

St. Patrick's scored the first four points of the game, then the teams traded 6-0 runs, leaving the Celtics up 10-6 with 2:40 left in the first. The Ravens were able to stay close thanks to seven first-quarter turnovers by St. Pat's, and the Celtics led just 13-11 after one.

With St. Pat's up 17-13 early in the second, the Ravens appeared to snap out of their funk after starting the game 3-for-19. St. Ray's went on a 10-0 run, capped by a baseline jumper from senior forward Delroy Daley, to take a 23-17 lead with 4:09 left in the half. The Ravens, however, then went cold once again, and St. Pat's used an 11-2 spurt - with six coming from junior guard, and new North Carolina verbal commit, Dexter Strickland -- to go ahead by three, 28-25 at the 1:25 mark. St. Patrick's would lead 30-29 at half.


The Celtics took what was then their biggest lead of the game with 3:48 remaining in the third, when a driving lay-in by junior forward Paris Bennett put St. Patrick's up 41-35. St. Ray's hung around though, and the Ravens trailed by just four, 47-43, at the end of the period.

St. Raymond's, however, would get no closer, and a breakaway lay-up by senior guard by Jermel Jenkins put St. Pat's up eight, 53-45 with 5:07 left. St. Ray's cut the led to five, 55-50, on a pair of free throws from senior guard Darryl Bryant with 2:30 remaining, but the Ravens' icy shooting did them in from there. A dunk by Bennett put the game away at 60-50 with 1:13 to go.

The star of the game for the Celtics was Kansas-bound forward Quintrell Thomas, who dominated the paint en route to 23 points and 13 rebounds. Strickland added 11 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, and Jenkins put up 11 and 7 boards.

St. Raymond's three leading scorers - Bryant, Kevin Parrom and junior guard Omari Lawrence - combined to shoot just 10-for-48 from the floor. Bryant managed to register 17 points and Parrom contributed 10 points and 13 rebounds.

The Celtics return to action on January 28 when they visit Roselle Park, while the Ravens - who lost at home to archrival Rice on Saturday - get back on the court at St. Francis Prep on Friday.

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