FALCON BASKETBALL
PLAYOFFS ... Falcons use balanced scoring to dispatch Trojans.
Saint Thomas advances to Regional Round of the LHSAA Division III Playoffs with 62-24 win over Sacred Heart.

HAMMOND—The home-standing Falcons made quick work of the Sacred Heart Trojans cruising to a 62-24 first round playoff win in action Friday. The Falcons advanced to the Regional Round of the LHSAA Division III Playoffs and will take on 7th-seeded Holy Savior Menard next.
    Saint Thomas used a balanced scoring attack as four players combined for 39 points with senior Dejuan James collecting 13, sophomores Justin Thomas and Jacob Romero each with nine and junior Kade Bleakley with eight.
    The Falcons and Trojans exchanged free throws to open the game, but a one-all tie would be the closest Sacred Heart would get a Saint Thomas went on a 16-3 run to start the contest. The Falcons padded their lead in the second period and went to the halftime break with a 29-11 advantage.
     Saint Thomas cranked up the defense in the third period and held the Trojans to just three points while adding 17 more to their total. The Falcons called off the starters in the fourth but still outgunned Sacred Heart 16-10 in the final period.

Falcons win the battle of the birds with 54-38 win over Saint Helena!
Saint Thomas improves to 5-2 in District play as Ryan Dawsey collects 22 points to pace win.

HAMMOND—The Falcons got back to their winning ways after a close loss on Tuesday to Doyle handing the visiting Saint Helena Hawks a 54-38 setback. The victory improved the Falcons District mark to 5-2.
    After a first period that featured four ties and ended knotted up at 15, the Falcons took charge outscoring the Hawks in each of the final three periods to notch a double-digit victory. Saint Thomas matched its first period output scoring 15 points in the second and third periods as sophomore Ryan Dawsey drained shots from around the arc collecting 22 points by game’s end.
    Saint Thomas enjoyed an 11-point advantage heading into the final period and finished off the Hawks outgunning them 9-4 to secure the win. Duston Dyson had eight points and four rebounds for the winners followed by Will Hetzinger with seven points and four boards.

Falcons dominate second half to score win over rival Springfield!
Saint Thomas improves to 5-1 in District play with a 44-30 victory over the Bulldogs. Seniors Dejuan James and Lawrence Jackson honored.

HAMMOND—The Saint Thomas Falcons celebrated Senior Night with a 44-30 win over District rival Springfield in action Friday. Three Falcons scored in double figures as Saint Thomas used a big second half to pull away from the visiting Bulldogs for a double-digit win. Justin Thomas tossed in 15 for Saint Thomas followed by Ryan Dawsey with 11 and Tyler Finley with 10.
    Defense dominated play for the first three periods as 13 points was the most either team could muster in a single period as Saint Thomas managed a 29-28 edge heading into the final period.
    In the final period, the Falcons made the most of eleven chances at the charity stripe collecting eight points as they used a suffocating defense to limit Springfield to just two points while scoring 15 to pull away for the win.

Falcons fly past Lions 59-28!
Saint Thomas continues winning ways with District win.

HAMMOND—Justin Thomas and Tyler Finley combined for 29 points as the Falcons handed the Lions of French Settlement a 59-28 setback to notch a 31-point romp. Ten different Falcon scored points in the contest as Thomas led all scorers with 18.
    The two squads got off to a slow offensive start as Saint Thomas managed only a 7-5 led after one period, but the Falcons found their mark in the second period outgunning French Settlement 29-7. The Falcons would never look back cruising to a double-digit victory.
    Junior Kade Bleakley had eight points while Ryan Dawsey and Jacob Romero each added six.

Falcons take down parish rival Amite 69-65 in Overtime!!!
Three Falcons score in double figures.

HAMMOND—Junior Kade Bleakley and sophomore Ryan Dawsey combined for seven three-pointers and sophomore Justin Thomas notched 20 points as the Saint Thomas Falcons upset parish rival Amite 69-65 in overtime.
    The Falcons and Warriors traded blows for thirty-six minutes before the contest was finally settled in overtime. There were four lead changes, one tie and each team enjoyed a brief 10-point advantage. Amite won the first period 18-12, but the Falcons owned the second 18-9 taking a 30-27 lead at intermission.
    The Falcons held the advantage for most of the second half holding three seven-point leads, but Amite rallied late using the three-point shot to take a 58-57 lead with seconds left, but junior guard Kade Bleakley hit the front end of a charity stripe shot to tie and just missed on the second for a chance to win it.
    Saint Thomas outgunned the Warriors in overtime 11-7 taking advantage of the charity stripe as Bleakley dropped in a pair to close the door on Amite with less than a second remaining.

Sophie Wright ends Falcons season.
Warriors hold on to defeat Saint Thomas 71-65.

HAMMOND—The Saint Thomas Aquinas Basketball team saw its stay in the Class 2A state playoffs a short one when the No. 19 Sophie B. Wright Warriors registered a 70-65 victory in a Bi-District opening round played at the Falcon gym. The victory marked the first time in the history of the six-year charter school to win a postseason contest. Sophie B. Wright advances to the second round of the LHSAA playoffs while Saint Thomas saw its season come to an end under first-year head coach Raymone Andrews.
    “It was a frustrating loss for us,” said Falcon coach Raymone Andrews, who guided the Falcons to a District 7-2A championship and a No. 14 seed entering the playoffs. “We didn’t come out and play the way we can play. They (Sophie B. Wright) took it to us. We didn’t make freethrows, we missed layups and committed too may turnovers. You cannot win a basketball game like that.”
     In the fourth quarter, the Falcons got to within 68-64 with :34 seconds remaining. However, the visiting Warriors were able to deliver at the foul line hitting clutch freethrows down the stretch. Saint Thomas had to go to the foul game with a minute remaining hoping Sophie B. Wright would miss. Twice the Warriors missed on the front end of a one-and-one, but the Falcons could not convert on their end missing two 3-point goal attempts.
    “Five-point game we carried the ball for a turnover then again we missed freethrows. We know we have to shoot the ball, than we dribble. But it’s okay, we got young players in this situation that they are not used to,” added Andrews.
    The contest was close throughout as both teams entered with identical 17-11 records. The Warriors used a pair of three-point goals and a mid-range jump shot to take a 11-2 first quarter lead that saw Andrews having to take a time out to get his team refocused. Saint Thomas came out of the timeout by going on a 11-2 run to tie it at 13-13 on a layup by Edward Cooper. Cameron Dantzler had three baskets and Ryan Dawsey nailed a trey to spearhead the comeback.
    Sophie B. Wright managed to maintain the lead by getting a pair of putback baskets and finished the period with a 22-18 advantage. Saint Thomas tied it again at 27-27 when Ralph Haynes sank the first of a trio of three-point goals in the quarter. Sophie B. Wright answered with a dunk shot and a three-point bucket to make it 39-35. However, the Falcons rallied with a pair of freethrows by Cooper and a layup by Bryce Ferrara made it 39-39 at the break. Saint Thomas ended the quarter outgunning the Warrior by a 21-17 margin.
    The Warriors began the third quarter on a 7-0 run to take a 47-39 lead and the Falcons would never recover trying to play catchup the rest of the period. Sophie B. Wright outscored Saint Thomas 12-6 in the quarter to make it 51-45 heading into the final period.' The Falcons got to within 55-52 on a tip-in by Cooper. But the senior forward went down with a ankle sprain with 3:02 remaining to play and would not return.
    “It hurts to see him go down in his final game,” Andrews said. “Still we had a chance to win when "Coop" got hurt. We just didn’t make freethrows and did not execute at the end.”
    
Falcons continue streaking!
Saint Thomas defeats 11th-ranked Christian Life 67-59 to win 11th game in a row.

HAMMOND—Seniors Cameron Dantzler and Bryce Ferrara worked inside and outside to pace a 67-59 win over visiting 11th-ranked Christian Life. Dantzler collected 18 points in the paint, while Ferrara worked in the parking lot hitting three treys to notched 16 points. The Falcons won every period in a hard fought contest that featured seven ties and 15 lead changes.
    Just two points separated the two squads at halftime as the Falcons took a 32-30 lead at intermission. The third period proved just a competitive as again Saint Thomas managed only to outscore Christian Life by one. The fourth period proved clutch for Saint Thomas as the Falcons finally gained a small separation out-gunning the visitor 19-14 to secure the win.
    Seniors Edward Cooper and Ralph Haynes along with freshman Luke Sweeney each added nine points for the winners. Sweeney was solid beyond the arc with a pair of treys.

Falcons finish District play with perfect 8-0 mark!
Saint Thomas defeats French Settlement 49-32.

HAMMOND—A trio of seniors paced a solid finish to District play as the Falcons defeated French Settlement 49-32 to complete District play with a perfect 8-0 mark. Cameron Dantzler led with 14 points followed by Ralph Haynes with 11 and Edward Cooper with eight.
    The Falcons used a suffocating defense limiting the Lions to ten points or less in all four periods. Saint Thomas opened with a 10-5 run and led 23-10 at halftime.
    
Falcons score double-digit win over parish rival Loranger in annual Hall of Fame Game.

HAMMOND—The recently crowned 7-2A District Champion Falcons took a break from District play to host the annual LHSAA Hall of Fame Game and continued their winning ways scoring a 69-54 win over parish rival Loranger. Saint Thomas used a balanced scoring attack as three Falcons scored in double figures with senior Ralph Haynes throwing down four treys to collect 18 points followed by fellow seniors Cameron Dantzler and Edward Cooper each with 14. Freshman Ryan Dawsey added eight and senior Bryce Ferrara had seven for the winners.
    The Falcons started fast opening the contest with a 20-6 run. The Wolves, however, rallied in the second period trading baskets as each team scored 11 points with Saint Thomas taking a 31-17 advantage at the half. Loranger played even with the Falcons in the final two periods with Saint Thomas edging out the Wolves 38-37, but a big first quarter by the Falcons proved to be the difference.
    Saint Thomas tossed in eight shots from downtown going 8-for-24 from three-point land and out-rebounded the Wolves 38-27. The Falcons hit 13-of-17 free throws, while Loranger was only 1-of-7.
    
Falcons headed for key District showdown with Doyle on Tuesday!
HAMMOND—The Saint Thomas Falcons remained unbeaten in District play with a pair of wins last week as they head into a key showdown with rival Doyle on Tuesday.

Falcons remain perfect in District—3-0!
Saint Thomas honors senior Edward Cooper, Bryce Ferrara, Ralph Haynes and Cameron Dantzler.

HAMMOND—The Saint Thomas Falcons remained perfect in District play as the senior duo of Edward Cooper and Ralph Haynes combined for 41 points with Cooper leading all scorers with 23 to had visiting Saint Helena a 66-63 setback. Freshman Luke Sweeney tossed in 11 for the winners including three treys from the parking lot. The Falcons collected 30 rebounds as Cooper and fellow senior Cameron Dantzler each had 11.

Falcons rally to earn 57-54 key District win over visiting Doyle!
Saint Thomas improves to 2-0 in league play.

HAMMOND—The Saint Thomas Falcons fell behind 31-25 at intermission but rallied with an huge fourth period outgunning the visiting Tigers 21-10 to secure the win.
    Senior Bryce Ferrara led the Falcons working from the parking lot as he drained four treys collecting 14 points. A trio of fellow seniors followed each in double figures as Cameron Dantzler had 13, and Ralph Haynes and Edward Cooper each added 11 for the winners. In all, the Falcons tossed in nine three-pointers shooting 36% from parking lot range.
    Saint Thomas struggles at the charity stripe hitting only 10-of-19 but crashed the boards collecting 31 rebounds.
    
Falcons use balanced scoring and suffocating defense to score 57-40 District win!
Saint Thomas opens league play with a win over rival Springfield.

HAMMOND—The Saint Thomas Falcons used a balanced scoring attack and made the most of the long ball collecting eight treys as they opened District play with a 57-40 win over visiting Springfield. The Falcons trailed only once at 5-4 early in the first period but would end the period with a 12-5 run and never look back.
    The senior foursome of Cameron Dantzler, Edward Cooper, Bryce Ferrara and Ralph Haynes paced the Saint Thomas offense as Dantzler had 16 followed by Cooper and Ferrara each with nine and Haynes with eight. Freshman Christopher Sweeny added six more for the winners with a pair of treys.
    The Falcons opened the second period with a 16-10 lead and made it a ten-point advantage minutes in as Ferrara nailed a trey to give Saint Thomas a 22-12 lead with 3:25 still showing. The Falcons would take a 28-16 lead into halftime.
    Saint Thomas extended its lead in the third outgunning the Bulldogs 17-12 and cruised in the final period as the two team traded buckets with each collecting a dozen points.

Falcons cruise early but need overtime to secure win.
Saint Thomas sees the fifth-ranked Hannan Hawks rally from 21 points down, but Falcons secure 64-59 win in OT.

HAMMOND—The Saint Thomas Falcons stunned the fifth-ranked Hannan Hawks early building a 38-17 lead four minutes into the third period, but saw the Hawks rally to force overtime before finally yielding 64-59 to the home-standing Falcons. Senior Cameron Dantzler tossed in 24 points to pace the win and hit six-of-eight free throws in overtime to secure the victory.
    The Falcons started fast taking a 7-0 lead on a trey by freshman Ryan Dawsey with 6:07 showing in the first period. The Hawks rallied back to tie it at seven on a shot by Ross Murray with 3:17 on the clock, but Saint Thomas would end the period with a 12-9 and build a 27-15 by intermission.
    Saint Thomas opened the third period with an 11-2 run to extend their margin to 21 at 38-17 with 4:39 showing on the clock, but the Hawks mounted a furious comeback outgunning the Falcons 36-24 in the second half to force overtime. The Falcons had an answer, however, cashing nine charity stripe shots to close out the Hawks with a 13-8 run in OT. Senior Cameron Dantzler led all scorers with 24 points while fellow senior Edward Cooper added 10, junior Dejuan James had eight, and senior Bryce Ferrara and Dawsey each had six.
    
Falcons score double-digit win over parish rival Kentwood.
Senior Cameron Dantzler drops in 22 points to pace a 52-40 win.

HAMMOND—The Saint Thomas Falcons got a 22-point performance from senior Cameron Dantzler to pace a 52-40 win over the visiting Roos of Kentwood in hoops action Monday. Junior Dejuan James tossed in 12 more for the Falcons and senior Edward Cooper added seven for the winners.
    The Falcons and Roos traded baskets to open the contest as Saint Thomas took a 9-7 lead after one. The two squads continued to keep it close in the second period with the Falcons edging the Roos 14-12 to take a 23-19 advantage at intermission.
    Saint Thomas got some separation in the second half with a 14-10 run in the third and a 15-11 run in the final period to secure a double-digit win. Isaac Warren led Kentwood with eight while teammates Ben Miller and Bryce Chappell each added seven.

Falcons open season hosting Veritas Challenge.
Loranger Wolves use big second half to hand Falcons a 48-31 setback.

HAMMOND—The Saint Thomas Aquinas Falcons opened their hoops season Monday hosting the Veritas Challenge Round Robin Tourney as the visiting Loranger Wolves used 23-point second half to hand the Falcons a 48-31 setback. Jaylen Jackson led the Falcons with 10 points followed by Dejuan James with eight. DJ Hookfin led Loranger with 22.
    The Falcons and Wolves opened the contest trading baskets ending the first period in a 15-all tie. Loranger’s Justin Bullock tossed in seven of his eight total points in the second period to pace a 10-6 run that gave the Wolves a 25-21 advantage at intermission.
    Loranger padded their margin in the third outgunning the Falcon 9-2 and added 14 more in the final period to secure the double-digit win.

Red Devils win shootout with Falcons to advance.
Falcons put four in double figures, but Pickering out-guns Saint Thomas 87-77.

HAMMOND—The Saint Thomas Falcons got double-figure scoring for four different players but it was not enough as the Pickering Red Devils got 30 points from Kelvin Atkins to pace an 87-77 LHSAA Bi-District Playoff win in action Friday night at Falcon Gym.
    Junior Edward Cooper and senior Hunter Gebbia tossed in 19 points, while seniors Michael Piediscalzo and Jacob Drummond each added 15.
    The Red Devils opened the contest with a 21-10 run, but the Falcons trimmed the margin to 23-14 after one and rallied to out-gun Pickering in the second period 17-12 to close the gap to with four as the Red Devils led 35-31 at the half.
    The two squad matched baskets in the third as Saint Thomas and Pickering each squad collected 18 points. The Falcons enjoyed a brief lead at the 2:31 mark of the third when Cooper drained a trey to put Saint Thomas up 47-43. Atkins answered for Pickering to cut it to 47-45 followed a shot by Piediscalzo to again put the Falcons up by four at 49-45, but the Red Devils scored eight unanswered and took a 53-49 into the final stanza.
    The final period proved fast and furious as the two squads engaged in a shootout with Pickering collecting 34 points and Saint Thomas 28. The Falcons would get no closer than 63-59 when Gebbia hit a layup with 4:10 showing.
    




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