Story by: Jonathan Willard, Senior/Student Reporter
The St. Aug Purple Knights phenomenally ended the 2015-2016 basketball season, on senior night, against the Jesuit Blue Jays. This marked the third consecutive district championship for the Knights as well as a perfect district record of 12-0. On what was thought by some to be a possible “down year,” this year’s team did what most previous teams could not do by going undefeated in the always competitive district 9-5A.
Senior Purple Knights were honored at the game. Senior forwards Patrick Smith, Drew Delatte and Keegan Kirksey were honored along with senior guard Devante Jones and senior team manager Jerald James III. The seniors led to team to the final win of the season, leading the team in all major stats. The Purple Knights held a strong lead for the entire game but the Blue Jays never backed down. The lead was closed down to one point before the Knights buckled down on defense and knocked down key free throws to extend their lead. The final score was 47-39, St. Aug.
The first quarter remained relatively close with both teams trading buckets and forcing turnovers. The Knights began to open up their lead in the second quarter as junior Caleb Daniels and senior Patrick Smith dominated by scoring in a montage of ways. St. Augustine kept a safe lead throughout the third quarter as Devante Jones grabbed steals, blocked shots, knocked down several three pointers.
Jesuit then staged a comeback in the fourth quarter by limiting St. Aug to zero points for more than 4 minutes while knocking down their three pointers. Late in the game, the Knight’s lead began to grow thanks to clutch free throws from Patrick Smith, Caleb Daniels, and Devante Jones.
The Purple Knights ended the season 21-7 and are heading into the 5A state playoffs in the 13th seed. As of now, the Knights will face the Bonnabel Bruins in a first round home playoff game. Official rankings and playoff matchups will be released on Monday, February 22, 2016.
Ninth grader Jalen Hinton interviews Coach Mitchell Johnson following district win.