(1) DUNHAM 59, (5) NEWMAN 55
at Dunham, Tuesday (Mar. 10), Division III Semifinals
Records: Dunham, 22-12; Newman, 23-11
HOW THE GAME WAS WON: 3 KEY MOMENTS
- It was a tight game for most of Tuesday’s Division III semifinal battle with Dunham holding the edge for the majority of the night. The Tigers, however, found themselves tied at 37 early in the fourth after a bucket by freshman sensation Chris Lockett Jr. Dunham kept its poise, though, and preceded to go on a 7-1 run, but Newman responded with five straight points to pull within 45-43. That’s when Dunham hit arguably its biggest shot of the game when Rhett Greer sank a 3-pointer from the corner, then put in the ensuing free throw for a critical 4-point play. The sequence gave Dunham a 49-43 advantage with 3:23 left, and gave the Tigers the cushion they needed to hold on the rest of the way.
- Dunham led by 7-9 points on multiple occasions throughout the night, but could never quite put Newman away. Their largest lead of the game came in the third quarter when Salle Wilson connected on one of his four 3-pointers for a 37-26 advantage with 1:35 to go until the start of the fourth. Newman’s Javon Ruffin, however, answered scoring the quarter’s last nine points including back-to-back triples for his first points of the third after a 4-point first half. The junior guard’s spurt couldn’t have come at a much better time as the Greenies remained within striking distance down, 37-35, going into the last eight minutes.
- Dunham put together its first push of the game about midway through the second quarter going on a 9-2 run that put them ahead 24-17 with 2:24 remaining until halftime. As the Greenies would do for much of the night, though, they responded with an and-one by Chris Lockett Jr. to quell the Tigers’ momentum. Carlos Stewart soon put in the final bucket of the period to give Dunham a 26-20 lead going into intermission in what was a 14-point first half for the standout junior.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Salle Wilson, Dunham
Wilson had a huge impact in Tuesday’s contest leading all scorers with 25 points on 7-of-17 shooting including 4-of-10 from 3-point range and 7-of-7 at the free throw line. His best work came in the third quarter when the 6-foot-4 senior scored all 11 of Dunham’s points to help hold off a charging Newman squad. Wilson also scored seven points in the fourth quarter knocking down four free throws and also finished the night with seven rebounds and a steal.
- This is the fourth straight season Dunham has advanced to the Division III championship game. The Tigers were runner-ups last season falling, 58-48, to Country Day and last won the title in 2018 defeating Episcopal, 49-48.
- Neither team shot particularly well as neither reached the 40 percent mark. Dunham was 19-of-54 from the floor including 7-of-29 from three and 14-of-17 at the line while Newman went 20-of-52 overall, 5-of-17 from long range and 10-of-17 at the stripe. The Greenies also had a slight rebounding edge grabbing 31 boards to Dunham’s 28. The turnover battle was also fairly even with Dunham committing 11 giveaways to Newman’s 12.
- This was the first season Newman advanced to the semifinals since 2001. The future, however, is still bright for the Greenies as they will lose just three seniors from this year’s team (Max Moses, Reagan Lapeyre and Porter Andrews), but bring back their top two players in Javon Ruffin and Chris Lockett Jr.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Newman | 11 | 9 (20) | 15 (35) | 20 – 55
Dunham | 13 | 13 (26) | 11 (37) | 22 – 59
Newman: Chris Lockett Jr., 21; Javon Ruffin, 20; Max Moses, 6; Canin Jefferson, 3; Porter Andrews, 2; Will Randle, 2; Arch Manning, 1.
Dunham: Salle Wilson, 25; Carlos Stewart, 21; Rhett Greer, 5; Jase Augustus, 5; Chase Augustus, 3.
Up Next: Dunham will host No. 3 Episcopal in this year’s Division III title game. The Knights defeated No. 2 Lafayette Christian, 51-41, Friday night in double overtime.