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After falling behind by 17 points in the first quarter, Stagg didn't give up Saturday.
"There really was a lot of basketball left," Chargers coach John Daniels said.
Stagg's opponent, Nazareth, which seemed so unbeatable in the first quarter, seemed so vulnerable in the remaining three quarters. The Chargers rallied to take to its first lead since scoring the opening basket and defeated the Roadrunners 66-54 to win its own McBride Thanksgiving Classic for the third time in the last four years.
Senior Sean Dwyer (12 rebounds) led the comeback with eight of his 15 points in the first half and was named tournament MVP. Nazareth (3-1) scored 15 consecutive points to take a 21-4 lead with 2:11 remaining in the first quarter.
"We talked about how it starts for us on on the defensive end," Dwyer said.
Stagg (4-0) went on a 16-3 run in the second quarter and opened the second half with an 18-2 run to take control. The Chargers made a pair of adjustments: cutting down on Nazareth's three-pointers and staying away from Nazareth's 7-foot Tyler Jackson (eight points, six rebounds), who scored only one basket and had one rebound in the second half. Jackson did not play in the fourth quarter.
"We did not (start out) well," Daniels said. "You have to credit Nazareth. They had a great game plan. They forced us to do things we didn't want to do."
The reach of Jackson's wingspan forced Stagg to adjust many of its shots. With Jackson on the bench, Kevin White scored 10 of his game-high 17 points in the first quarter while Max Strus had 16 points and Kamil Barnas added 12 points. Strus and White were named to the all-tournament team with Nazareth's Dan Kienzle, John R. Bonk and Kevin Connelly. Bonk had 11 points and Tim Kuckailis had 10 points for the Roadrunners.
"Whenever they put on a spurt, we didn't handle it as well as we needed," Nazareth coach John N. Bonk said. "We had a bad shooting night. We are a good shooting team.
Nazareth made 8 of 26 three-pointers in the game, but shot 3-for-15 in the second half. Kuckailis made the first two baskets of the fourth quarter to pull the Roadrunners to within 48-41, but Stagg responded with a pair of free throws each from White and Strus.
Stagg also led the battle at the free-throw line, converting 17 of 21 foul shots. Nazareth shot 4 of 6 at the line.