Prep boys basketball: Community School routs St. John Neumann for 3A-11 title

The new year is only a few weeks old, but it has been a very good one for the Community School boys basketball team.

The Seahawks won their 11th straight game since Jan. 1, a 76-46 victory over St. John Neumann on Friday night for the Class 3A-11 title at Seacrest Country Day.

Nine of the 11 wins CSN has had since losing to Cincinnati-Archbishop Moeller on New Year's Eve have been by double digits.

After falling behind 20-6 at the end of the first quarter, the Celtics got within single digits once — a nine-point deficit midway through the second period. By halftime, Community, which responded to every Neumann run with one of its own, was back on top by 16.

"This feels really good," said CSN coach Greg Donahue, whose team improved to 25-2 on the season. "Our (defense) held another opponent to under 50 points.

"Our players got great team shots. Every time (Neumann) made a run, we answered. They'd score two, we'd score six."

The win sets up a home regional quarterfinal matchup for CSN on Thursday with the loser of the 3A-12 championship game on Saturday between Palm Beach Gardens-Benjamin and Pahokee.

The Seahawks, who have given up an average of 38 points per game, were led once again by forward Jeff Merton, who had 17 points. He had 24 in CSN's semifinal win over Evangelical Christian on Wednesday.

Merton, a junior who transferred from Seacrest during the summer, was aided in scoring by Charlie Badger's 13 and Zach Rochette's 11.

Neumann, which dropped to 13-15 this season, was paced by Ray Perry's 17 and George Obidiegwu's 16. The Celtics will travel to the winner of the 3A-12 game on Thursday.

"Hopefully, we'll see (Community School) again," SJN coach John Wholihan said. "We knew they'd come out and put pressure on us. We didn't handle it well. That's my fault. We should have been better prepared.

"You can't win games when you have 20 turnovers."

* * *

COMMUNITY SCHOOL 76 ST. JOHN NEUMANN 46

SJN (46)

Cox 2 1-4 6, Obidiegwu 5 4-6 16, Costain 1 0-0 3, Maguire 1 0-0 3, Perry 7 0-0 17, Coleman 0 1-2 1. Totals 16 6-12 46

CSN (76)

Kent 0 0-0 0, Celano 3 0-1 7, Rochette 2 6-7 11, Bressler 0 1-2 1, Badger 5 1-2 13, Murray 2 0-0 6, Gendron 2 4-6 8, Baker 3 0-0 6, Zaiser 0 0-0 0, Merton 6 5-8 17, Donahue 0 2-2 2. Totals 21 19-28 76

SJN 6 13 17 10 — 46

CSN 20 15 24 17 — 76

3-pointers: SJN — Cox, Obidiegwu 2, Perry 3, Costain; CSN — Rochette, Celano, Badger, Murray 2; Team Fouls: SJN 16, CSN 10; Fouled out: None; Technicals: None

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