Saturday, March 24, 2001

St. Ignatius next for Elder


Benton lead St. I over Massillon Jackson 61-47

By RUSTY MILLER
AP Sports Writer

        COLUMBUS, Ohio — Rahsaan Benton hit three 3-pointers during a 18-2 run to finish the first half as Cleveland St. Ignatius beat Massillon Jackson 61-47 Friday night in a Division I state semifinal at Value City Arena.

        The Wildcats (24-2) meet Elder in tonight's big-school title game. It'll be a rematch of a game on Feb. 3 in which Elder rolled over the Wildcats, 82-67, at Elder. (Feb. 4 story.)

        Brodie Haer scored 13 points, Jesse Moore had 11 and first-team All-Ohioan Mark Raabe had 10 points for Jackson (22-4), making its second trip to the state's final four.

        Benton finished with 18 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the field, 4-of-8 3-pointers and 2-for-2 from the line. He also had two assists.

        Benton, a second-team All-Ohioan, helped turn the game around late in the second period and then made big plays for the Wildcats down the stretch.

        Ignatius, which won its eighth in a row, trailed 11-8 after a period but broke away from a 19-15 deficit to take command.

        On successive trips down the floor, Benton arched in long, looping 3-pointers. After Mike Salopek hit a pair of foul shots, Benton flipped a nifty assist pass to Salopek for a 3-pointer to cap the 11-0 run that took only 1:05 off the clock.

        Craig Saxen hit two free throws for Jackson before Jonathan Gannon scored on a drive, Benton nailed another rainbow-like 3 and Gannon hit two foul shots to make it 33-21 at the half.

        The Wildcats led by as many as 13 points in the third quarter before the Polar Bears used an 8-3 run at the end of the period — the only points for Ignatius coming on another Benton 3 — to draw to 42-35.

        First-team All-Ohioan Mark Raabe's basket to open the final period cut the lead to five, but Ignatius was ready to go on another spurt. Peter Koch, who had played an erratic floor game up to that point, scored on drive and the accompanying free throw, then hit two more foul shots to push the lead back to 47-37.

        Jackson got as close as eight points before Andrew Salata hit two foul shots and then bounced in a layup while falling down to make it 53-41. The lead never dropped below double figures again.

        St. Ignatius, ranked No. 5 in the final regular-season Associated Press rankings, is making its third appearance at the state tournament. The Wildcats lost in the semifinals in 1953 and made it to the finals in 1998 before losing to Lakewood St. Edward.

        MASS. JACKSON (22-4) — Moore 3-5 4-4 11, Saxen 1-3 4-4 6, Haer 6-9 1-4 13, Cochran 0-3 0-0 0, Raabe 4-8 2-4 10, Steiner 0-2 0-1 0, Maurer 0-0 0-0 0, Close 0-0 0-0 0, Abrams 0-1 0-0 0, Jones 0-0 0-0 0, Telloni 1-2 5-8 7. Totals 15-33 16-25 47.

        ST. IGNATIUS (24-2) — Hennessey 0-0 0-0 0, Massey 2-3 2-6 6, Gannon 2-2 9-11 13, Koch 1-8 5-7 7, Benton 6-12 2-2 18, Dubroy 0-1 0-0 0, Salopek 3-4 2-2 11, Kolwicz 0-0 0-0 0, Salata 1-5 2-2 4, Moviel 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 16-36 22-30 61.

        Mass. Jackson 1110 14 12—47

        St. Ignatius 1023 9 19—61

        3-point goals—Mass. Jackson 1-6 (Moore 1-1, Abrams 0-1, Raabe 0-2, Steiner 0-2), St. Ignatius 7-18 (Benton 4-8, Salopek 3-4, Salata 0-1, Koch 0-5). Fouled out—Haer. Rebounds—Mass. Jackson 23 (Haer, Raabe, Telloni 4), St. Ignatius 20 (Salata 4). Assists—Mass. Jackson 8 (Cochran, Raabe 2), St. Ignatius 6 (Benton, Salata 2). Total fouls—Mass. Jackson 22, St. Ignatius 24. A—14,475.

       



Sports Stories
- St. Ignatius next for Elder
Elder stuns No. 1, makes title game
Highlands loses in Ky. quarterfinals