Each with two league games to play, the four teams battling for the top spot in the MIAA C Conference basketball standings are packed tighter than drum, which should make for an exciting finish and even more exciting post-season.
In Friday’s key match-up, Cristo Rey battled from behind in the fourth quarter to top visiting Key School, 65-53.
Key (11-5 overall, 8-2 MIAA C) entered the day in first-place in the division, but the Obezags have now slipped to third, a half-game back of Cristo Rey (10-11 overall) and Saints Peter & Paul, which are both now 8-2 in the league. Saints Peter & Paul defeated Park School, 56-45, on Friday to keep pace. Beth Tfiloh, which beat Saints Peter & Paul earlier in the week, is also right in the thick of things at 7-3.
Key played a near perfect first half as it built a 32-20 halftime lead and the Obezags still led 42-29 with two minutes to play in the third quarter. The Hornets, however, stormed back, closing the game on a 36-11 run. By the end of the third quarter, the deficit had been cut to four, as Ahmaud Jones tipped in a shot at the buzzer.
Jakai Jones scored a team-high 29 points, including 14 in the third quarter. Ahmaud Jones finished with 14 points. Michael Jackson paced Key with 24 points.
“My guys showed a lot grit tonight in the win,” said Cristo Rey coach Eddie Healy. “At halftime, I told them I’ve been waiting for the opportunity to be down big in a league game all year. Championship-caliber teams have the ability to make comebacks and our boys demonstrated that tonight. Once we turned up our ‘Chester St. Chaos’ defense in the second half, our guys just seemed unstoppable.”
Healy discussed the close race in the conference.
“There is so much parity in our league right now, these games are so fun to be a part of,” said Healy. “Key, Beth Tfiloh, and Saints Peter & Paul all have quality coaches and enough talent to win a championship. It’s going to come down to execution in crunch time and how this season ends is going to be really entertaining to watch.”