St. John Paul II defeats Saint Francis Catholic 63-56 to advance to the 2A Boy’s Basketball Regional Semi-finals

In collaboration with Trey Johnson

After trailing the entire game, the St. John Paul II Panthers were able to dominate the fourth quarter, leading them to a 63-56 boy’s basketball victory on Thursday night against the Saint Francis Catholic Wolves.

“We stayed together,” said coach Colin Anderson, “that was the biggest thing.”

The Panthers will take on Florida A&M for the regional semi-finals in Tallahassee next week on February 23rd, the team that defeated them in the district championship just last Friday.

“It’s revenge for us,” said Anderson of the big ballgame ahead. “It’s going to come down to heart and hustle.”

As for Saint Francis, their season has come to an end.

“The guys battled the entire game,” coach Issac Selva said.

“The game was just four minutes too short”

The Wolves Take the Lead

In the first half, Aiden Newman and Ashton Lovette controlled the scoreboard for the Wolves and the first half concluded with the Wolves up 29-28.  The third quarter brought a run from the Wolves that extended their lead to 43-38.

Quarter 4: A Completely Different Ball Game

In the fourth quarter, both teams were more aggressive and just as the Panthers start to go on a run, Ashton Lovette, a key asset to the St. Francis’ offense, fouls out.  After trailing the entire game, the Panthers finally took the lead on two free throws by junior guard Kevin Brown.  That lead is short-lived as senior Aiden Newman makes a fast-break layup with five minutles left on the clock.

After Trevor Spencer is fouled; he makes both free throws. and the Wolves lead by three  But a run by the Panthers puts them up two but then two made free throws by the Wolves ties the game with 2:15 to go.  But then a jumper from Bryce Vieux, a steal and fast break slam puts the Panthers back on top.

They would hold on to win 63-56.


Saint Francis Head Coach Isaac Selva was overcome with emotions after the defeat.  He said that the Panther’s aggressiveness in the fourth quarter played the largest role in their loss.

“Pressure has always been a weakness, and when we needed to make a play under pressure, we just couldn’t,” he said.

Although it was Aiden Newman’s last game as a Saint Francis student, he said he’s proud of his four years as a Wolf.

“I’ve had great coaches and great teammates so, overall, I’m happy with how my career went.”

Although his time as a Wolf has come to a close, Newman wishes future teams of Saint Francis basketball success, and he hopes they will someday be able to win a district title.

About Jolie Katzen

Jolie Katzen is a fourth-year Journalism major with a focus on sports media at the University of Florida.

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