Kerwin Okoro knew right away that All Hallows’ Omar Kellman made a mistake when he blocked Daniel Dingle’s shot.
“He doesn’t like getting rejected,” the St. Raymond sophomore said. “He fights back real hard.”
As if on cue, Dingle fought Kellman for the loose ball, came up with it and powered in for a layup to give the Ravens a seven-point lead with 2:19 left in the game.
“He just made me more angry, more hungry,” Dingle, a sophomore, said. “He wasn’t backing down and neither was I.”
Dingle controlled the paint throughout and dominated the game’s final minutes. He grabbed the ensuing defensive rebound, scored on a putback and then got another board on the All Hallows end. He scored 16 points and grabbed 17 rebounds to lead St. Raymond to a 54-47 win over the Gaels in CHSAA Archdiocesan boys basketball at Mount St. Michael Tuesday.
“I just wanted to take over,” Dingle said. “Someone had to step up. So I was going to be that one.”
All Hallows trimmed the Ravens’ lean to 42-40 on a two Michael Alvarado free throws with 6:47 left in the fourth. The Manhattan-bound guard struggled from the field, but got into the collapsing defense and scored 12 of his 23 points at the line. Devin Brooks, who had 11 points, six rebounds and four assists, turned a steal into a Lawrence Graves layup to spark a 7-0 run to put St. Ray’s (3-2, 3-0) up nine. Alvarado connected on a 3-pointer and hit two more free throws to make it 50-45 with 2:57 left before Dingle took over.
“He dominated the whole game,” said Okoro, who scored 14 points. “The whole paint was his. I tried to go get rebounds and he was snatching them from me.”
The young Ravens were spectacular in transition, firing the ball down court and finishing the play off with quick passing. Dingle threw a baseball pass to Myron Hickman, who threw a touch pass across the lane to Brooks for a layup to start a run that put St. Raymond up nine with 1:50 left in the first half, a lead All Hallows trimmed to just two at the half on a Geoff Tolentino 3-pointer. Kellman added 13 points for the Gaels (1-4, 0-3)
“If we can get stops we can get out on the break,” Ravens coach Oliver Antigua said. “If the team scores we have to take the ball out.”
Okoro was everywhere in the third quarter as the Gaels slowed the pace with a full court press. He was active on the glass, fed Dingle in the post twice and scored on two putbacks on second efforts, including one with 1:30 left in the quarter that put St. Ray’s up 42-33.
“He played with a high energy today,” Antigua said. “We wanted to win this game.”
So did Dingle, as the Ravens have now won three straight games after opening the season with two defeats. He and St. Raymond are beginning to show a maturity beyond their years.