St. John's Boys' Basketball grabbed the Houston Christian Mustang Tournament by defeating the Village School Vikings 60-56 in the championship game.
St. John’s Boys’ Basketball went on a 7-game winning streak having just won 5 in a row to capture the Houston Christian Mustang Classic this past weekend. After beating Sam Houston High School and Kinkaid last week, the Mavericks were searching for their first tournament win since last year’s SPC Championship crown.
St. John’s defeated SATCH (Home School) 72-67, St. Thomas Episcopal 59-41, and Dallas Parish Episcopal 41-16 in pool play to set up a showdown against Concordia Lutheran Crusaders, led by big man Tyler Holloway.
After falling behind 12-0 against the Crusaders, the Mavericks found their composure and eventually regained the lead from down 4 at the end of the first to 4 points up at the end of the third. Joshua Hanson (’14) and Yusef Chabayta (’13) led the team in scoring with 14 each and St. John’s finished with a 49-42 win.
“Defense was the key,” said Head Coach Harold Baber. “We have a lot of new guys and we are starting to figure out how to play exciting basketball on the defensive end.”
While St. John’s’ first three opponents were on the smaller side, and the Crusaders posted up one big man in the middle, the finals would put the Mavericks against a couple of sky scrapers from the Village School in Shaquille Cleare and Dylan Jones both of which are college bound players heading to University of Maryland and to the West Coast Conference respectively.
“We are a versatile team,” said Baber. “We can play big or small.”
Led by Kory Haywood’s (’13) 22 points, the Maverick took the lead 19-17 at the end of the first and never looked back. Daren Napier (’12) held Cleare to 10 points and grabbed 7 rebounds. Justise Winslow (’14) led the team in rebounds and finished with 19 points in the final and was named the tournament MVP. Along with Winslow, Haywood and Chabayta made the Mustang All-Tournament Team selection.
“The Team is starting to understand their role and where to be especially on the weak side where you can get caught ball watching,” said Baber. “We took about 15 charges over the weekend to double our season total.”
The Mavericks had little time to enjoy their trophy which stands almost as tall as 6’-6” Justise Winslow. St. John’s hosted Westbury Christian the next night and dropped to The Wildcats which are ranked #3 in TABC state poll. St. John’s is ranked #9.