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St. Joseph seniors celebrate with 59-43 win

St. Joseph Flyers’ T.J. Young win the battle for a rebound against a Raceland defender during the Flyers’ 59-43 senior night win over the Rams. (The Ironton Tribune / Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

By JIM WALKER

Tribune Sports Editor

The St. Joseph Flyers’ four seniors wanted a game they could remember. It might be one game the Raceland Rams want to forget.

Avenging an earlier 71-55 loss, the Flyers used strong rebounding and defense to beat the Rams 59-43 Thursday on senior night.

“That’s the first senior night we’ve won in three years. We played about as well as we’ve played all year and we rebounded really well,” said Flyers’ coach Jeremy Williams.

“The seniors were just determined they weren’t going to lose and they played that way the whole game. You couldn’t ask for a better game. Everybody contributed and played their roles.”

Senior Tanner Riley has 22 points and eight rebounds. Senior T.J. Young added 15 points and eight rebounds while senior Payton Blair handed out eight assists and had three steals.

Senior Cody Blackburn scored four points but left the game in the first half with a twisted ankle.

Sophomores Justin Mahlmeister and Eli Lewis helped their the seniors to a successful night. Mahlmeister had 10 rebounds and Lewis helped limit Cody Risner to 10 points.

Risner had 30 points in their earlier meeting.

“Eli did a good job contesting (Risner’s) shots. The last time we played Risner couldn’t miss,” said Williams.

After leading 12-3 at the end of the first quarter, St. Joseph led 29-13 with 1:12 left in the second quarter after a steal and short jumper by Mahlmeister. Raceland got within 29-16 at the half on a 3-pointer by Chase Meade with just under a minute left.

Risner’s layup just before the third quarter buzzer got the Rams within 35-27, but Lewis converted a 3-point play to begin the fourth quarter and open up a 38-27 lead.

A putback by Riley and a layup and two foul shots by Young gave the Flyers some breathing room at 44-29 with 5:54 left.

Raceland (7-20) managed cut the deficit to eight points for the second time when Chase Waddell hit a three-pointer with 3:51 to go in the game.

The Flyers then went on a 7-0 run and the lead was 51-39 with 1:51 left.

The Rams began to foul and the Flyers were 6 of 8 from the line over the final 1:42 including three shots from Riley. Joseph Payton had a short runner in the lane and then made two more foul shots with seven seconds left that extended the lead to 59-41.

St. Joseph was 10 of 15 at the foul line in the fourth quarter and 15 of 20 for the game.

Raceland 3 13 11 16 = 43

St. Joseph 12 17 6 24 = 59

RACELAND (7-20): J.R. Blair 3 0 0-0 6, Chase Meade 1 2 0-0 8, Justin Ratcliff 3 0 0-0 6, Tyler Farley 1 0 2-4 4, Cody Risner 5 0 0-1 10, Ryan Tolliver 0 0 0-0 0, Austin Blankenship 1 0 1-2 3, Chase Waddell 0 2 0-0 6. Totals: 18-58 3-7 59. Fouls: 19. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: 10 offense, 25 defense = 35 (Blair 11, Ratcliff 7, Risner 6). Team rebounds: 3. Assists: 8 (Blair 3, Waddell 2). Steals: 5 (Blair 2, Risner 2). Turnovers: 20.

SAINT JOSEPH (12-7): Payton Blair 0 0 1-2 1, Cody Blackburn 2 0 0-0 4, Tanner Riley 7 1 5-7 22, Justin Mahlmesiter 2 0 0-0 4, T.J. Young 3 1 6-7 15, Zack Dalton 1 0 0-0 2, Eli Lewis 3 0 1-2 7, Grant Geswein 0 0 0-0 0, Joseph Payton 1 0 2-2 4. Totals: 21-53 15-20 59. Fouls: 11. Fouled out: None. 3-point goals: 2-11. Rebounds: 9 offense, 30 defense = 39 (Mahlmeister 10, Young 8, Riley 8). Team rebounds: 8. Assists: 11 (Blair 8). Steals: 9 (Blair 3, Riley 2). Turnovers: 15.