At the buzzer in the third, Judge Memorial point guard Tanner Riley caught the ball, spun and threw a Hail Mary at the rim. The Bulldogs had led throughout the game against Region 10 rivals Juan Diego, and the 3-point bank shot sealed the deal.
"I was in the zone, I didn't even hear people yelling," Riley said. "I jumped, said a prayer, and bang!"
The Bulldogs downed the Soaring Eagle 63-37 in a footrace relying on Riley's speed, leadership and scoring prowess. He finished the game with 13 points and, more importantly, positioned his teammates to get involved. Eight Bulldogs scored in their dominating performance predicated upon Riley's court vision.
"Tonight he got his team mates involved and played well," coach Dan Del Porto said. "This was a good game for him."
In their fourth straight win, the Bulldogs relied upon Riley's passing, their physicality and timely shooting from senior Joe Cremer. The 6-foot-2 guard drained four of his five 3-pointers in the first half, establishing a foundation for the rest of the team to build upon.
"What can I say? Joe is a shooter. When he gets hot, nobody can stop him," senior forward Pat Neville said.
Judge Memorial led all four quarters by establishing the pace early in the game with Neville driving the floor and getting to the line. Neville, who finished with nine points, credits Cremer for providing the spark their team needs in big games.
"When he is dropping 3s, we know that we are going to be in any game," Neville said.
The quick pace of the game benefited Judge Memorial, which attacked on fast breaks and got back on defense faster. Senior Terrell Young was instrumental in leading the sprint on both sides of the ball, scoring six and bringing down four rebounds.
"We practice very hard, and it gives us the energy to play aggressive down the stretch," Young said.
Storylines Judge Memorial 63, Juan Diego 37
O Senior Joe Cremer makes four of his five 3-pointers in the first half for the Bulldogs.