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St. Ignatius rolls past Massillon Jackson 87-63 to advance to the Division I Regional Championship

KENT, OH- It was day 2 of the OHSAA Boys Division I Regional semifinals on Wednesday night at the MAC Center on the campus of Kent State. The St. Ignatius Wildcats (22-3) faced off against the Massillon Jackson Polar Bears (22-4). The winner would earn a trip back to the MAC Center on Friday night for a Regional Championship game against Brunswick.

The Polar Bears got off to a quick start running out to a 7-2 lead after a Mitch Finefrock three ball. Jackson would hold the lead until the Wildcats Quinn Woidke scored on a layup to put Ignatius up 11-10. The teams would exchange one point leads for the next few minutes before the Wildcats scored the final four points to take a 19-16 lead after one. Damon Friery had a 10 point opening quarter for Ignatius.

St. Ignatius really opened things up in the second quarter. Matt Ellis sparked a 15-1 run for the Wildcats scoring 10 of the 15 points including an and-one conversion at the end of the run which put Ignatius up 34-17. Sandwiched in between was a nice spin move and score by Woidke for the and-one conversion.

Jackson was able to answer with five straight, but the Wildcats scored six of the final eight points of the half to take a 40-24 lead at the break. Damon Friery led the Wildcats with 12 points while Anthony Fuline had 8 for the Polar Bears.

The third quarter was all Wildcats. They opened the second half on a 10-2 run fueled by the inside work of Reece Robinson who scored 8 points in that span.

That gave Ignatius their biggest lead of the game at 50-26. The lead would stay 20+ throughout the quarter as the Wildcats kept their foot on the gas pedal and put the game away. Jack Zapolnik ended the third with a short jumper in the lane giving the Wildcats a commanding 63-38 lead after three.

Jackson outscored Ignatius 25-24 in the final quarter but the damage had already been done. The Wildcats ran away with an 87-63 Regional semifinal win over the Jackson Polar Bears.

Damon Friery led the way for the Wildcats with 18 points while Reece Robinson chipped in with 17. Anthony Fuline had 16 points in a losing effort for Jackson.

St. Ignatius advances to the Division I Regional Championship game on Friday night back at the MAC Center against the Brunswick Blue Devils. Ignatius beat Brunswick 76-59 in their regular season matchup on January 7th.

Postgame interviews with St. Ignatius head coach Cam Joyce & Reece Robinson


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