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St. Edward's Adrian Ponce (left) and Davontae Elam celebrate after beating Montini 68-64 on Friday in Elgin. | John Konstantaras~For Sun-Times Media
St. Edward is right back in the thick of the race for the Suburban Christian Gold Division title after coming from behind at home to knock off first place Montini 68-64 on Friday night.
The Green Wave (17-4, 5-2) had already lost two previous meetings to the Broncos earlier this season and trailed by as many as 13 points in the first half before rallying for the win to pull to within a game of Montini (14-6, 6-1) and Immaculate Conception in the standings.
Senior point guard Antonio Domel scored 10 of his team-high 20 points to help lead the comeback. Adrian Ponce added 17 points and Davontae Elam finished with 14 points off the bench.
“The big difference tonight was we didn’t get rattled,” said St. Edward coach P.J. White. “Even when we fell behind we kept our composure. We started hitting some big shots to get us back in the game.”
The Green Wave hit just four of its first 20 shots from the field as it fell behind 21-8 early in the second quarter. However, St. Edward heated up and shot 21-of-34 (62 percent) from the middle of the second quarter on.
St. Edward surged into the lead 54-44 with a 17-3 run late in the third quarter and early in the fourth quarter, erasing a 41-37 deficit. Ponce spearheaded the rally with three baskets.
Elam put the Green Wave ahead for good 43-41 with a long jumper on the first possession of the fourth quarter. Domel closed out the run with back-to-back three pointers. He had four three-pointers in the game.
“It’s a really big win for us,” said Domel. “We had a good week of practice getting ready for them. We just keep pushing one another to keep getting better.”
The defense also picked up the pace in the second half, forcing 13 turnovers after the Broncos only turned it over three times in the first half.
“Our whole goal defensively was to constantly keep changing things up to keep them off balance,” said White. “I thought we did a good job of switching off their screens and making their big guys handle the ball more. Their one big guy (Simmie) Cobbs really hurt us the first two games we played them, but we were able to do a better job of stopping him from getting to the basket tonight and at least made him work a lot harder for what we he got.”
Cobbs did have 21 points to lead the Broncos in scoring. Matt Brachmann added 20 points.