In this consolation semi-final, we get our first look at Immaculate Conception, a young team but very talented out of the hoops hotbed of New Jersey. By all accounts, Miami Christian can be very good, as they were yesterday, or very bad, as they were against McEachern in the opening round.
The “good” version of the Victors showed up early as they raced out to a 9-0 lead within the first three minutes. IC finally got on the board with a bucket inside from Eli Hutchins-Everett. Miami Christian continued its torrid play with eight consecutive points to lead 17-2 with just over three minutes left in the quarter. IC answered with five straight points of their own to end the quarter with the score 17-7 in favor of Miami Christian.
The “Mr. Hyde” edition of Miami Christian came off the bench to start the second quarter. In all, Miami Christian went 8:28 of clock time without scoring the basketball. By the time they did score, IC had run off twenty straight points to lead 27-19 with 2:35 left in the half. Miami Christian was able to hit a three a bit later but only scored five points total in the second quarter. Meanwhile, IC was having their way on the inside and at the half, Immaculate Conception led by eleven at 33-22.
After scoring the first seven points of the third quarter, IC had built the lead to eighteen at 40-22. Miami Christian responded with a 12-3 run over the net three minutes to cut the margin to single digits at 43-34 with just over three minutes to go in the period. IC scored inside, but that would be their last points of the period as the Victors closed on a 7-0 run to get to within four at 45-41 heading into the final quarter.
Immaculate Conception once again built thier lead to eight after back-to-back buckets inside to lead 49-41. Miami Christian cut the margin in half on their next two possessions. IC built their lead back to ten after a 6-0 run and looked to have the game in hand. That definitely wasn’t the case as Miami Christian started finding their range from deep. With under thirty seconds left, Miami Christian hit a three to get to within two at 58-56. IC wouldn’t fold and held off the Victors at the free throw line and win a close one by the score of 61-56.
Hutchins-Everett led Immaculate Conception with 23 points while Zion Bethea contributed 10 points.
Miami Christian was paced by Diego Rivera with 15 points and Gonzalo Gonzalvo with 12 points.