Everything was going according to plan for Bonnabel in “The Bear Trap” Friday night in a non-district meeting against visiting St. Augustine. The Bruins took control in the first half behind an 9-point performance from Theo Johnson to give themselves a 25-19 lead at intermission, but it all changed after the break.
The Purple Knights asserted their will on the game beginning the third quarter on a 13-5 run that ended with a bucket by D’Mari Wiltz for their their first lead of the half up 32-30, and they dominated the fourth quarter outscoring Bonnabel, 13-4 to walk away with a 51-40 victory.
Senior guard Jaron Pierre was the driving force for St. Aug scoring 13 of his game-high 19 points in the second half. Nine of those also came in a tight fourth quarter that helped the Purple Knights knock off Bonnabel for the third time this season.
“I was trying to be aggressive on purpose,” said Pierre, who also grabbed seven boards in the game. “My team needed it so I just tried to be aggressive the whole game.”
Pierre was followed in production by Wiltz and Jaheim Walters, who both finished with eight points for St. Aug (13-1). Wiltz also added five rebounds with four assists to his stat line while Walters had four rebounds.
For Bonnabel (8-4), Tyron Williams finished as the team’s leading scorer with 12 while Johnson finished with 11. Torrence Bardell chipped in with seven points and five steals, all of which came in the first half.
Junior forward Will Allen had his opportunities around the rim, but it just wasn’t his night as he finished with three points. He did, however, still make an impact on the boards and defensively with seven rebounds and six blocks.
“They just finished plays and we didn’t shoot well in the second half,” Bonnabel coach Glenn Dyer said. “I thought the third time (playing them) would be a charm. Every time we’re right there but they’ll make some big plays to finish it.”
“At halftime I just challenged them,” said St. Augustine coach Mitchell Johnson, whose team got the job done without one of their top players in junior forward Jason Malbrue. “We had to concentrate on the small things and get back to our identity — playing defense.”
Malbrue has been out with a knee injury since the Purple Knight’s win over Lee in the championship of the CYO Tournament on December 7, but is expected to be back by district play.
St. Aug and Bonnabel both resume their schedules in the Purple Knight Classic beginning December 26.
ST. AUGUSTINE 51, BONNABEL 40
at Bonnabel, Friday (Dec. 20), Non-District
SCORE BY QUARTERS
St. Augustine | 9 | 10 (19) | 19 (38) | 13 – 51
Bonnabel | 8 | 17 (25) | 11 (36) | 4 – 40
St. Augustine: Jaron Pierre, 19; D’Mari Wiltz, 8; Jaheim Walters, 8; Ashton Trufant, 6; Jaden Clark, 4; Eric Williams, 4; Nasir DeGruy, 2.
Bonnabel: Tyron Williams, 12; Theo Johnson, 11; Torrence Bardell, 7; Nomar Dijol, 4; Will Allen, 3; Kyshoun James, 2; Jonathan Brock, 1.S