Mater Dei 56, St. Bernard, 53--There's something about the Angelus League, in which basketball games have an uncanny way of being decided on the last shot.
Wednesday night's Angelus League affair between St. Bernard and Mater Dei was no different. Visiting Mater Dei won 56-53 in overtime on point guard Mark Ramstack's three-point play.
Said St. Bernard Coach Jim McClune, whose Vikings fell to 3-4 in league and 15-6 overall: "My blood pressure is still level, and there's a reasonable amount of acidity in my digestive system. But our four losses in league have been by a total of 10 points. There must be a more merciful way to lose."
Said Coach Gary McKnight of Mater Dei, now 6-1 in league and 15-6 overall: "These games are always like this. This league is the best in the Big Five (Conference). Every night you've got to go to war just to survive."
The last shot in Wednesday night's war was fired by St. Bernard guard Mark Raveling, but his desperation three-pointer at the buzzer fell short. Ramstack had given Mater Dei the winning basket 12 seconds earlier when he sank a driving lay-up, was fouled and connected on the free throw.
Mater Dei's big gun all night, however, was forward Kevin Rembert, who led all scorers with 26 points. When St. Bernard opened a 13-point lead in the second quarter, Rembert's clutch shooting trimmed that to three. Rembert also brought the Monarchs to within three in the third quarter, erasing a 34-23 St. Bernard lead.
Then, in the fourth quarter, Rembert gave Mater Dei a 49-47 lead with an emphatic slam dunk when Ramstack fed him with a pass through the Viking press from half court.
"Rembert doesn't get to do as much as he can at Mater Dei because he plays on a pretty evenly balanced team," McClune said. "But tonight he dug down deep and showed he's a really outstanding basketball player."
Ramstack finished with 7 points, center Char Ruppel added 11, and guard Dillon Rigdon had a pair of three-pointers in the first half for Mater Dei.
St. Bernard's 6-10 center Ed Stokes led his team with 17 points, but he missed the front end of a one-and-one at the end of the fourth quarter that could have sealed the game for the Vikings. Aron Williams added 9 points for St. Bernard, Juno Armstrong and Keith Brown had 8 apiece, and forward Eric Nelson, who was averaging 16 points per game going in, was held to 7.