Winchester leads Bulldogs’ hoops past St. John

Ascension Catholic guard Jacquel Wade moves past a defender in a win against Family Christian this season.

Coming off the heels of a stinging loss to St. Michael the Archangel on Saturday, junior guard Kaleb Winchester and the Ascension Catholic boys’ basketball team (8-2) responded Sunday with a 62-51 win over the St. John Eagles, led by Winchester’s 22 points.

First year head coach Tyler Turner said the Bulldogs just came out flat against St. Michael, but in Sunday’s win they wanted to get back to the basics.

“Tonight I refocused them on everything and got back to the basics defensively,” Turner said. “We got back to boxing out for the boards and moving the ball around and it showed well for us.”

The Bulldogs jumped out to a very fast start and led 18-8 after the first quarter. At the half, Ascension Catholic maintained its 10-point spread. After the break, the Bulldogs turned it on a notch and led 50-31 going into the final quarter.

In the fourth quarter the Bulldogs extend their lead to as much as 21 points, but the St. John Eagles would not go away easily, making a run of their own and getting the lead down to nine points with about 1:30 to play in the game.

Turner said the team just didn’t knock down key free throws down the stretch. The Bulldogs shot 6-16 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter alone.

“We couldn’t buy a free throw,” Turner said. “If we were able to make free throws we would’ve been able to keep our 20-point lead. That’s something we have to work on to close games out better.”