St. Monica got off to a slow start of its basketball game against Palos Verdes on the first day of the El Segundo Tournament. A late rally fell short and the Mariners suffered a 52-51 defeat to Palos Verdes.
Poor free throw shooting and a slow start caused the Mariners to fall behind by as much as 18 points in the second quarter before closing the gap to 14 at halftime. St. Monica made some adjustments at halftime and rattled PV in the third quarter to cut the lead to three points.
Kavin Dotson and Dennis Ashley led the third quarter charge in which the team scored 20 points. St. Monica took the lead by one point with 1:30 remaining, but Palos Verdes made some critical free throws down the stretch. Ashley was not able to convert crucial trip to the charity line, as he missed the front end of a key 1-1 free throw attempt.
Wth the ball in their hands and down by a point with 3.8 seconds left in the game, Spencer Gorman’s long three-point shot went awry.
St. Monica can blame their woes at the free throw line as an eyesore for the defeat. The Mariners shot just 9-20 from the free throw line.
“As frustrated as the coaching staff is with free throws as it is a point of emphasis in our practices, I am proud of how this team is learning to fight and react well to in-game adjustments,” said coach John Skinner. “We are making progress but need to limit the lulls we seem to have in each game and continue to do a better job of trusting each other.”
St. Monica was led by Dotson, who finished the game with 19 points. Dennis Ashley added 15 and Kaivon Simab, who dished out six assists and produced seven rebounds for the Mariners.