Joop, STM boys rally at SVC tournament

Joop, STM boys rally at SVC tournament

PAXTON — Sixth-seeded Paxton-Buckley-Loda started with a 13-0 run. But third-seeded St. Thomas More regrouped in time to pull out a 53-48 win in Tuesday’s Sangamon Valley Conference boys’ basketball tournament.

“We came out really strong in the first quarter, and then as the game wore on we just kind of faded for whatever reason,” PBL coach Scot Vogel said.

The Sabers face No. 2 seed Cissna Park — which beat No. 7 Momence 48-45 — in Friday’s 7:30 p.m. semifinal in Paxton.

The Sabers yielded five points in the second quarter and four in the third.

“Our kids work on the press in practice,” Sabers coach Matt Kelley said. “Our kids bring it, and they play hard all the time. That’s never been an issue. I know that they’re always going to play hard, and when you play hard it leads to good things.”

The Sabers (13-7) were led by Storm Joop (17 points).

“He shot the ball well and kind of opened up the defense for us a little bit,” Kelley said. “Him shooting well really helped us get back into it.”

Axl Denault led PBL with 16 points, including the game’s first eight.

“I thought that Axl had a really strong game,” Vogel said. “That was good to see.”

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