The #1 ranked St. John boys basketball team defeated the host Ellinwood Eagles 77-29 on Tuesday for their ninth win of the season. While the game looked fairly close in the first few minutes, that didn't last long as St. John junior Zuriel Reyes started knocking them down from all over the court and the Tigers defense was picking apart the Eagles for the win.
It seemed like Reyes had the magic touch in the first quarter, netting six baskets, three of them from long range. His total for the game was 30, making 75 percent of his shots.
Much of this was possible, the product of St. John's "up close and personal" defense, forcing ten Eagle tourovers in just the first quarter alone.
"Zuriel shot the ball well with 12-16 shooting. Dean finished much stronger inside." said St. John's head coach Clint Kinnamon. "Kade again had numerous steals that led to easy baskets. Team wise, we turned them over 29 times."
Starting the second quarter leading 19-6, the Tigers doubled their score, getting 21 points while holding Ellinwood to just eight. Reyes hit his 4th and 5th three-pointer, and senior Omar Ramirez had three baskets and one free throw. Sophomore Dean Wade made two baskets, getting six points for the half.
"Our shooting percentage was pretty good last night from 2." said Kinnamon. "We didn't shoot it quite as well from 3 as what we have been where we only shot 30 percent last night."
The score at halftime was St. John 40, Ellinwood 14.
"We did a very good job running the floor last night and has several good pitch ahead lay ups and finishes." said Kinnamon.
Both Ramirez and Wade made eight points in the third quarter, St. John stretching their lead to 43 and going into the fourth quarter leading 63-20.
Going with a running clock, the Tigers scoring was spread out with junior Kade Kinnamon making two baskets and senior Spenser Nusser, Reyes, Wade, Ramirez and junior Trey Nelson, each making a basket.
The final score had St. John winning 77-29.
"Our concentration was not where it needed to be, we had way too many turnovers, most of which were unforced" said Kinnamon. "On the road especially, you have to keep that number far below where it was."
"During the game, I tried to get some good conditioning out of it with our guys and I believe we accomplished that."
Scoring for St. John: Reyes 30, Wade 16, Kinnamon 9, Ramirez 8, Nusser 8, Sisco Calleros 4, Nelson 2.
Free throws: 6-9 for 67 percent - Wade 4, Kinnamon 1, Ramirez 1.
Three point goals: Reyes 6, Ramirez 1.