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Sloppy offense, too many turnovers, and a lack of execution around the basket.
Combine all three, and St. Rita found itself in an eight-point hole at halftime Sunday against Hyde Park.
Courtesy of a huge Victor Law third quarter and an impressive defensive showing, the first half troubles were a thing of the past.
Playing at the Team Rose Shootout at the Kroc Corps Community Center, St. Rita executed down the stretch for a 59-50 win over Hyde Park.
“Hyde Park always wants to try to speed things up and take you out of your game,” Law said. “In the second half, we played like we wanted to do. We’re both high speed teams that get up and down the court, but we were able to control the tempo though and slow them down.”
Dominique Matthews (16 points), Law (14) and Scott Kingsley (13) paced St. Rita (5-2) in the win.
Committing 14 first half turnovers and shooting just 8-of-28 from the floor, the Mustangs trailed 33-25 at the half. It was Law stepping up in the third with 10 big points, opening the frame with a fast break layup.
The junior forward followed with two 3-pointers, including one off-balanced attempt off an inbounds play, and a midrange jumper as St. Rita went up 45-40 heading into the fourth.
“My teammates were able to find me,” Law said. “I really needed to step up and hit some shots as a leader on the team.”
Hyde Park (5-2) got as close as 49-46 in the fourth on a Marcus Smith layup, but Dominique Matthews hit two free throws and Charles Matthews (8 points) scored on an offensive rebound. The Thunderbirds struggled from the field in the second half, finishing 5-of-21.
Smith poured in 23 points for Hyde Park with Phillip Lee adding nine.
St. Rita hit 6-of-9 free throws in the fourth quarter.
“We did what we asked them to do in the first half,” St. Rita coach Gary DeCesare said. “It sunk in in the second, and our guys executed what we needed to do.”