Brittney Lohmiller / The Natchez Democrat — St. Aloysius Charles Pendleton, left, and Ben Welp knock the ball lose from Cathedral’s Jardarius Anderson in the second half of the MHSAA Division 7-1A basketball game Friday. Cathedral fell to St. Aloysius 65-62.
Brittney Lohmiller / The Natchez Democrat — St. Aloysius Charles Pendleton, left, and Ben Welp knock the ball lose from Cathedral’s Jardarius Anderson in the second half of the MHSAA Division 7-1A basketball game Friday. Cathedral fell to St. Aloysius 65-62.

Cathedral falls to rival St. Al after near comeback

Published 12:07am Saturday, February 15, 2014

NATCHEZ Cathedral High School’s game against St. Aloysius was the difference between going into the district tournament as the No. 2 seed or the No. 4 seed, and unfortunately, the Green Wave had to settle for fourth.

Cathedral (10-12, 7-5) rallied from down 15 points to as close as one point, but couldn’t pull out the win as the Green Wave lost 65-62.

Cathedral committed several turnovers and missed 18 free throws.

“We were nine for 27 at the free-throw line, then lost by three points,” Cathedral head coach Peter Arnold said. “That speaks for itself.”

James Coley tallied 21 points while Jardarius Anderson had 12.

St. Al led the entire game, and Cathedral didn’t get a run going into the final four minutes of the game.

The Green Wave was down 58-51 with 3:47 remaining in regulation when they went on a 6-0 run powered by Coley’s four points and Anderson’s assist to William Doss.

Now down just 58-57 with 1:45 to go, St. Al was able to create a little distance on a 6-0 run, 64-57.

Four of those points came from free throws.

Cathedral answered back when Derrion Battieste hit a corner three-pointer on an out-of-bounds play with 19.9 seconds left.

Then Anderson was able to create a turnover and Blackmon ended up at the free throw line for Cathedral with 17 seconds remaining.

Blackmon wasn’t able to connect and as Cathedral went for the foul, unfortunately, it was Coley who fouled out on a flagrant foul to Conner Smith.

Smith had a game-high 24 points as he hit one of two free throws to go up 65-52 and seal the deal.

Arnold said he was shocked that his team made so many errors Friday night.

“We played so poor,” he said. “We didn’t fight until late in the third quarter. They out-played us and out-hustled us.”

But Arnold said he did see a few bright spots in the Green Wave’s performance.

“We still had the fight in us to comeback and stay in it until the end,” Arnold said. “The whole game came down to one thing. We were down one and we couldn’t rebound the ball.”

Cathedral will play Pelahatchie High School as the No. 4-seed in the district tournament Monday.