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Triple-double deluxe for 7-footer

01/21/2013, 8:51pm PST
By Steve Brand, Special to the U-T

Army-Navy upsets top-ranked Cathedral Catholic in MLK Showcase at Hoover


Army-Navy’s Cheikh N’diaye grabs a rebound over Cathedral Catholic’s J.J. Sellner. N’diaye finished with 22 points, 25 rebounds and 10 blocked shots.

After Army-Navy Academy lost to La Jolla Country Day last week, there were many who questioned if the Warriors really deserved to be ranked No. 4 in the San Diego Section.

The answer is no, higher, after 7-foot-1 senior Cheikh N’diaye produced an eye-popping 22-point, 25-rebound, 10-blocked shot triple-double and junior guard Devin Watson poured in 29 points to lead Army-Navy to a 67-61 victory Monday over No. 1 Cathedral Catholic in the Martin Luther King Showcase at Hoover High.

“Their being No. 1 gave us a lot of motivation,” said Watson, whose six 3-point field goals kept the Dons on their heels for most of the game. “And, when you have a 7-footer like Cheikh … .”

While Watson left it to the imagination of those listening to think back on N’diaye’s performance, anyone who saw the game realized that Army-Navy can play with any team when the inside-outside game is going as well as it did against Cathedral Catholic, which saw its nine-game winning streak snapped.

Army-Navy (16-4) went on a 24-7 run in the second quarter and the Warriors needed nearly every one of the extra points when the Dons (17-3) shaved 10 points off the 16-point halftime advantage in the third quarter and closed to within three with 2:45 to play.

But the free throw by Niksha Federico, who scored 12 of his 14 points in the final quarter, would be the last points for Cathedral Catholic until Federico hit a trey with 4.2 seconds to play, ending a 5-0 Army-Navy run — all on free throws by Watson.

“We struggled with their size,” said Cathedral Catholic coach Will Cunningham, whose team rarely had second or third chances with N’diaye patrolling the paint.

Xavier Williams led the Dons with 15 points.

In other MLK Showcase games at Hoover:

LJCD 55, Foothills Christian 54: La Jolla Country Day escaped with the victory in the Mark Hall Classic portion of the showcase after Foothills Christian pared a nine-point deficit to one, missing a final desperation shot. Sage Burmeister led the Torreys (8-8) with 17 points. Freshman T.J. Leaf’s 18 paced Foothills (8-11).

Mater Dei Catholic 50, No. 3 Serra 49 (girls): Alexandria Young’s field goal with 17.6 seconds to play proved to be the game-winner. Mater Dei (10-5) held on the final 11.5 seconds against the aggressive Conquistadors (14-6), who were led by Tiara Griffis’ 15 points. Young, a USD-signee, had 22 points and Kandiss Barber added 18 for the Crusaders.

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