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St. Augustine fends off Lincoln in Western League showdown

01/12/2013, 2:41pm PST
By Craig Malveaux

Saints' Trey Kell pours in 32 points to spark triumph.

After surrendering the lead in the third quarter, St. Augustine coach Mike Haupt asked his team to be more aggressive on the court. Trey Kell answered the call.

“I knew someone had to take over the scoring tonight,” Kell said. “I decided I would try to put the team on my back as far as scoring. I could tell my shot was on.”

The senior guard poured in 12 fourth quarter points to propel St. Augustine past the Lincoln Hornets 56-49 Friday night. He finished with 32 points on 12-of-17 shooting. No other Saints player reached double figures.

“We talked about our guys stepping up when it mattered the most and Trey did that tonight,” Haupt said. “We needed him”

St. Augustine improves to 10-3 on the season — 1-1 in Western league play — while Lincoln dropped to 6-6.

“League is hard,” Haupt said. “It’s a grind every night. We’ll take it how we get it. I’m proud of our guys.”

The Hornets were without leading scorer Tyree Robinson, who remains sidelined with a broken foot he suffered in practice. The senior Oregon commitment averaged 19.2 points per game.

“He’s one of our two best players,” said Lincoln coach John Bryant.

“It’s tough to regain the chemistry you once had and get a victory without a player like him. It’s going to take some time.”

Early on, the shorthanded Hornets relied on Tyrell Robinson — Tyree’s twin brother — to shoulder the production, however the Saints keyed in, forcing Robinson into tough looks at the basket.

Lincoln managed only 16 total points in the first half. Down by 10 points, the Hornets charged back and took their first lead of the game on a field goal by Corey Whipple with six seconds remaining in the third quarter.

However, their surge ended. Behind Kell’s 12 points, St. Augustine regained the lead, capping the fourth quarter with 13-9 run.

“Too many mistakes,” Bryant said. “You make that many mistakes against a team like the Saints, they’re going to take advantage of them.”

St. Augustine forced 14 turnovers. Tyrell Robinson finished with 16 points on the night for the Hornets on 6-of-17 shooting.

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