HOUSTON, TEXAS (November 12, 2018) — Two sports cliches came to mind watching Houston St. Pius X racing out to – and maintaining – an early first quarter lead over Sugar Land Logos Preparatory Academy.
Defense wins championships and speed kills.
One win doesn’t make a championship, but the two together did – mix in excellent passing and a great game in transition – produce a decisive 95-57 win for the Panthers on their home court Monday night.
St. Pius X moved to 4-3, while Logos Prep fell to 1-4.
Both teams on Monday moved into the ninth position in their respective 6A and 4A Texas Association of Basketball Coaches (TABC) state ranking.
Logos Prep opened the preseason ranked fourth, while Panthers head coach Brandon Scott‘s squad earned enough respect to be moved into the top 10 after not being ranked to start the season.
After the teams traded initial trips up and down the floor, with St. Pius X holding an early 6-4 lead, the Panthers had a 9-0 blast – on a pair of buckets from Sydney Shipp, another from Terrell Jenkins and a trey from Jason Johnson – to push the SPX margin to 11.
The Lions responded, though, with a three pointer from Seth Williams on a nice pass from Malik Knight and a Williams dish to center John Shanu II to cut the advantage to six.
However, St. Pius X utilized three different full court press formations to force turnovers and for Logos to attempt to play at its pace.
The Panthers – over the next three minutes – went on a 12-4 sprint that saw Shipp drain a pair of three balls on assists from Chad Graham and Craig Branch, hit two more buckets and Stanley Asiegbu put in a fifth off an offensive rebound.
Despite Shanu following a shot and jamming one home and a nice Williams-to-Knight combination, the Panthers ended the first quarter with a 27-15 lead with Shipp scoring 18 of his game-high 28 points in the opening stanza.
Logos started the second quarter by cutting the Panther margin to eight, 34-26, behind Justin Reford and Zion Granulle.
The duo scored all of the Lions’ 17 second-quarter points.
In that short 11-7 run, Granulle had a pair of baskets, a three pointer with an assist from Reford, followed by Reford’s second basket of the quarter to that point.
But the Panthers answered with a 9-0 run that saw Graham hit a pair of baskets off his own steal and a pass from Asiegbu as well as a Shipp to Jason Johnson connection.
St. Pius X maintained that 17-point 43-26 lead all the way to halftime where they led 49-32.
Phillip Marucci‘s team refused to go away easily in the third quarter, largely in part to the play of Malik Knight.
The senior who is a returning TAPPS first-team All-Stater scored 11 of his team-high 15 points — and Logos’ 15 points in the third quarter – to play the Panthers near even, 16-15.
All six of the Panthers’ baskets in the third quarter – which included pairs of baskets by Derrick Brown III and Shipp and two deep in the left corner threes from Chad Graham — came as a result of passes that produced six team assists — two for Shipp, three for Johnson and another for Brown.
As both coaches started to rotate players in the fourth quarter, eight Panthers scored in St. Pius X’s 30-10 margin that produced the final 95-57 non-district result between two state-ranked opponents.
LOGOS PREP (1-4) — 15 – 17 – 15 – 10 = 57
ST. PIUS X (4-3) — 27 – 22 – 16 – 30 = 95
LOGOS PREP — Michael Keating 1 0-0 2, Seth Williams 2 0-0 6, Zion Granulle 6 1-2 14, Malik Knight 6 2-3 15, Myles Gordon 1 0-0 3, Justin Reford 3 3-4 9, Ross Watson 0 0-0 0, Mason Gordon 0 2-2 2, John Shanu II 2 0-0 4, Dylin Halim 1 0-0 2. TOTALS 22 8-11 57.
ST. PIUS X — Sydney Shipp 13 0-0 28, Chad Graham 2 1-2 5, Derrick Brown III 4 1-2 10, Terrell Jenkins 3 4-4 10, Dylan Owens 1 0-0 2, Jason Johnson 6 0-0 13, Braden Hawkins 0 2-2 2, Craig Branch 5 2-2 16, Stanley Asiegbu 4 1-1 9, Ethan Sanni Thomas 0 0-1 0. TOTALS 38 11-13 95.
TOTAL FOULS — Logos Prep 11, St. Pius X 12. THREE-POINT FIELD GOALS — Logos Prep 5 (Williams 2, Granulle, Knight, Gordon), St. Pius X 8 (Shipp 2, Brown III, Johnson, Branch 4).
By Jon Walk