Tonawanda News — TOWN OF TONAWANDA — The St. Joe's basketball team had the Bishop Kearney Kings right where they wanted them after three quarters of play. The Marauders held a six-point advantage heading into the final eight minutes and seemed to have momentum on their side, closing out the third on a 8-4 run.
But Kearney responded in the fourth quarter, scoring the first 11 points of the period and holding St. Joe's scoreless for over four minutes. The Marauders made a final surge, but ultimately fell short, losing 63-56.
Kearney senior sensation Chinonso Obokoh, who has committed to attend Syracuse next season, played in his first game in weeks after suffering a leg injury earlier in the season. He came off the bench and it took him a while to get into a rhythm, but when he did the Marauders didn't have an answer.
He scored 11 of his team-high 16 points in the second half and scored the first four points in the fourth to lead the Kings back into the game.
St. Joe's coach Mark Simon said his team just couldn't handle Kearney's size in the end.
"That's a pretty big team and they're physical," he said. "That's the best game they've played all year. They've kind of struggled to put all the pieces together and they did in the fourth quarter. ... We couldn't handle Chinonso, he's just a load. He gave us the most trouble."
Kearney went to a matchup zone in the fourth and it took Simon and the Marauders some time to figure out how to attack it. Louis Oliveri scored a game-high 17 points and, despite being dwarfed by the host of bigs in the painted area for Kearney, he attacked the basket all game long and made big shots down the stretch. He also finished with nine rebounds and four assists.