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St. George’s boys hold off NW Christian

St. George’s ran away with the second half and the game to remain undefeated with a 69-58 boys basketball road win over Northwest Christian on Friday.

The Crusaders (6-1, 2-1 Northeast 2B) jumped out to a 13-4 lead early in the first quarter, but the Dragons (7-0, 4-0) narrowed the deficit in the final 3 minutes of the period by going on a 9-2 run that was capped off by an Erik Muelheims layup right before the buzzer.

Muelheims scored five points in the first 2 minutes of the second quarter to give St. George’s the 19-17 lead. He scored 10 points in the quarter, 14 in the half.

Chris Hartis scored seven of his 19 points late in the second to keep the Crusaders close.

The Dragons led 28-26 at halftime.

St. George’s extended its lead right out of the gate in the second half, going on an 8-2 run led by Dexter Sienko, and didn’t look back.

“I made a point to do that,” Dragons head coach Ryan Peplinski said. “We got Dexter some more touches and were a little bit more deliberate about finding him.”

Led by Sienko, St. George’s ran away with the game as the post man seemingly scored at will. Northwest Christian cut the lead to seven on a 3-pointer from Ryan Ricks, only to watch Sienko drive the baseline and slam it home, silencing the crowd in the process.

Every time the Crusaders rallied, St. George’s answered with a bucket by Sienko or a 3-point field goal off of a Muelheims assist.

“They’re a team that’s going to rebound with anybody and we feel like we can too,” Peplinski said. “And when we rebound, we go. We have a lot of quickness and a lot of shooters, and when were hitting early 3s and driving down the lane and hitting buckets, it’s pretty nice.”

Muelheims finished with a quiet 20 points, while Sienko stole the show, dropping in 16 of his 20 points in the second half to lead the surge for the Dragons.

“Coming out in the second half we were able to pick up the defensive intensity a little bit,” Peplinski said. “We made it tougher on them and got them to turn it over some and that sealed the deal.”