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February 10, 2008

Knights Crown Roman Catholic

TRENTON, NJ- Mt. Vernon held a size advantage over Roman Catholic, and 6'7" forward Kevin Jones took advantage.

Jones was able to crash the boards throughout the game on the offensive end and get several put-back opportunities. The West Virginia-bound forward was also able to block and alter several shots early, as he led his public school to a 74-73 win over the Pennsylvania Catholic School.

As the final quarter began, the coach Cimmino ordered his team to put on the full court pressure, as they were able to force several turnovers in the backcourt. With 4:17 remaining in the final quarter, freshman guard Jabarie Hinds was able to complete a three-point play following a Roman Catholic turnover to give the Knights a 65-62 lead. A Kevin Jones hook shot with 1:32 remaining increased the Knights lead to 71-68. Wayns countered with an acrobatic three pointer from just past the top of the key to tie the game at 71.

After both teams traded free throws, Mt. Vernon decided to hold the ball for a final attempt at the basket. With five seconds remaining, the freshman Hinds attacked the basket and got fouled. The point guard knocked down one of the two free throws that followed to give Mt Vernon a 74-73 lead. Roman Catholic squandered their last chance by turning the inbounds pass over, as the Knights were able to finish off the 74-73 victory.

Jones and the Knights were able to take control early in the game as a steal and a Kevin Jones dunk gave Mt. Vernon a 20-13 lead with 1:40 to go in the opening stanza, however the Cahillites went on a 9-2 run to close out the quarter. Coach Bob Cimmno's squad continued to be sparked by Jones along with 6'5" junior forward Sherrod Wright, as they were able to play an inside-outside game to break down the Roman Catholic zone.

However, the Pennsylvania school would come back thanks to the offensive prowess of Villanova-bound guard Maalik Wayns. Wayns, who knocked down five three-pointers in the opening half, knocked down many timely shots to keep his team in the early portions of the game. A Will Kirkland lay-up with 1:02 remaining in the first half gave Roman Catholic a 36-31 lead. Mt. Vernon was able to close out the half strong and go into the locker room only down 36-35 to the Catholic school out of Pennsylvania. Maalik Wayns led all scorers in the first half with 19 points, while Kevin Jones led the Knights with 16 first half points and the junior Wright chipped in with 6 points.

Both teams turned up the intensity on both ends of the floor to start the second half, as the Knights continued to hit the glass hard to secure themselves second chance looks at the rim. Mt. Vernon stole the momentum from Coach Dennis Seddon's team late in the third quarter and entered the final session of the game with a 56-54 lead.

Jones, who will be playing for Bob Huggins and the Mountaineers next fall, won the game MVP award with 27 points and 11 rebounds. The junior Wright scored 22 points for the Knights. Maalik Wayns led Roman Catholic with 26 points on the afternoon.

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