Sophomore jump: Watson’s jumper sends Ravens past Iona Prep

St. Raymond’s sophomores played beyond their years, allowing their team to win a game it wouldn’t have a season ago,

Second-year players Terrence Trice and Dallas Watson scored the Ravens final four points in a 50-48 victory over division rival Iona Prep in CHSAA Class AA boys’ basketball in the Bronx on Dec. 18. Watson, who scored seven points, put St. Ray’s up for good on a 15-foot jumper from the right elbow extended with 22 seconds remaining.

“It’s going in,” star point guard Isaiah Washington said he though in the moment. “I trust my sophomores.”

It was Watson’s only two points of the second half, but that didn’t discourage him from shooting with the game on the line. He’s confidence is sky high in his third straight game starting because those around him believe in him.

“I know that the coach trusts men and knows I can shoot,” Watson said. “If I feel like it was a good shot I’m going to take the shot. It felt good. I knew it was going to go in.”

St. Raymond (6-1) still had to survive one final jumper from Gaels star Ty Jerome as time expired. The Virginia-bound point guard got a good look from the top of the key, but his three-pointer rolled off the rim and the Ravens were able to celebrate.

“I said a short quick prayer before he let it go,” St. Raymond coach Jorge Lopez said.

Jerome, who is averaging 27 point per game, had just two after a 12-point first quarter. It was Watson who drew the assignment of guarding him. He and St. Ray’s was able to wear Jerome down.

“The job was if anyone was going to beat us, let anybody else beat us,” Lopez said.

They nearly did.

Nick Brennan, Patrick Fleming and Gio Gabbidon each scored 11 points for the Gaels (4-2), who led 43-39 after three quarters. Last year St. Raymond, which trailed by a point at the half would have likely folded after that. Instead this group is older and more cohesive. Instead the Ravens scored the first six points of the fourth quarter. They tied the score on at 44 and 46 in the final 4:00 on the third 3-pointer of the game from Washington (15 points) and bucket in the post from Sidney Wilson (12 points). Trice added eight points.

“Everyone is just playing together,” Washington said.

Consecutive threes by Fleming put Iona up 36-31 with 3:33 to go in the third. It was part of an 11-2 run by the Gaels to end the frame. The deficit would grow, but St. Raymond’s resolve didn’t diminish. Instead its youngest players hit the game’s biggest shots.

“With the sophomore coming in and impacting the game you hope that it just carried into the latter part of the season and into playoffs” Lopez said. “The veteran playoffs are enjoying winning with those guys.”

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