CREVE COEUR -- For the first two quarters of Wednesday’s Chaminade Christmas Tournament opener between the host Red Devils and visiting John Burroughs, the visitors looked like maybe they’d eaten too much turkey and dressing during their holiday dinners the night before.
The Bombers were slow on defense, late on close-outs, and flat ineffective as rebounders.
But in the second half, the No. 10-ranked team among all area Small School clubs, looked like its old self again, as Burroughs turned its defense into high gear and held off the hard-charging Chaminade squad, for a hard-fought 53-48 victory.
“We didn’t play well on defense at all during that first half,” Burroughs head coach Steve Wilcutt said. “They had 29 points in the first half, and I just told our guys that they can’t have 29 points again in the second half. And our guys responded.”
Indeed they did, as Burroughs held Chaminade to just eight points in the third quarter, and a mere 11 more points in the fourth, preventing the Red Devils from reaching 50 points total even though it almost had 30 at halftime.
“They’re a really hard matchup for us because they’re bigger than us all over the floor,” Wilcutt said. “But these kids know a lot about winning, and they just trust and rely on each other. They’re just used to winning.”
On Wednesday, the Bombers spent most of the night losing -- trailing by as many as eight points early in the second quarter -- before finally getting on track on offense to take the lead for good with just under two minutes left in the fourth quarter.
Senior guard Foye Oluokun had a game-high 18 points, including a thunderous alley-oop dunk that helped spark the JBS comeback.
Oluokun’s biggest play of the night though was probably the sensational dribble-drive-and-kick pass he made to teammate Trevor Bain for a wide-open three-pointer from right in front of the Chaminade bench, that Bain drained to give the Bombers the lead for good.
Bain finished with 11 points and hit three of his four three-point attempts on the night.
Senior Jimmy Carney also had 11 points for the Bombers.
Chaminade was led freshman phenom Jayson Tatum, who had 15 points, including a twisting runner in the lane with 2:15 left that tied the game at 48.
Unfortunately for the Red Devils, that was their last points of the game, as Burroughs simply refused to let its tournament hosts score any more the rest of the game.
Junior Damon Patterson, who had three three-point makes as well, had 13 points for Chaminade in the losing effort.
The Red Devils (3-6) will be right back in action on Thursday, with another tournament pool play game against Cardinal Ritter (5-4) at 5:30 p.m.
JBS (8-0) will play Cardinal Ritter on Friday at Chaminade, also at 5:30 p.m.
If the Bombers win that game, they’ll advance to the Chaminade Tournament championship game on Saturday, for the second straight year.
JBS is the defending tournament champion after defeating Chaminade in the final last year.
Score by Quarters ........... 1 ... 2 ... 3 ... 4 -- Final Score
Chaminade ..................... 16 . 13 .. 8 .. 11 -- 48
John Burroughs ............. 12 . 14 . 13 . 14 -- 53
Chaminade -- Jayson Tatum 15, Damon Patterson 13, Jack Hummel 6, Will Gladson 4, Trey Collins 4, Tyler Cook 4, Garrett Roberts 2.
John Burroughs -- Foye Oluokun 18, Jimmy Carney 11, Trevor Bain 11, Ezekiel Elliott 9, Chris Wetzel 4.