THE SKINNY: Senior forward Josh McNeal poured in a career-high 28 points as Providence-St. Mel withstood Raby’s late challenge in capturing the Class 2A Cristo Rey Regional title.
TURNING POINT: The Knights (21-6) forced seven first-quarter turnovers and limited the Raiders (14-8) to one basket in creating an early double-digit advantage.
THE STAR: McNeal scored the first seven points for the Knights and registered 13 points in the first half as Providence-St. Mel seized a 33-20 lead at the break. He added four rebounds and four assists.
BY THE NUMBERS: The Knights won their fifth straight regional crown. Bernard Lilly Jr. drilled three three-pointers in contributing 11 points and senior guard Tevin King added nine points, five rebounds and three steals. Junior guard Curtis Echols (24 points) engineered the Raiders’ comeback, scoring 12 points during a 14-3 run that cut an 18-point deficit to seven with just under a minute remaining.
QUOTABLE: “In the zone they played, I knew the middle of the court was going to be wide open. I spent extra time making good decisions.” — McNeal