Written by: Tyler Smith
(CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky.) - The second round of the 2108 President Athletic Conference (PAC) began today (February 22, 2018) as the number one seed Thomas More College Saints played host to the number six seed Geneva College. In a hard-fought game, the Saints were able to come out with a 67-50 victory, allowing them to advance to their third straight PAC Championship title game.
The two regular season match-ups between the two teams both came down to the last couple possessions, so coming into a game where it was lose or go home, both teams knew they were going to have a fight on their hands. Geneva threw the first punch early as they went up 5-0 within the first minute of the game, but Thomas More didn't stumble as they answered right back with their own 9-0 run to take the lead. After the Saints took the lead early in the half Geneva was able to tie it up at 13-13 with 13:06 to go until half time, which was the closest the game would get. On the court tonight, the Saints shot 43.8% from the field, brought in 37 rebounds, and had 15 assists.
The Saints had eight players reach the scoring column tonight and half of them had double digits. Leading the charge tonight on both sides of the ball was junior guard Ralph Stone (Shelbyville, Ky./ Martha Layne Collins) who had 13 points, eight rebounds, one steal, and one block. Along with Stone, junior guard Damion King (Winchester, Ky./ George Rogers Clark) finished the game with 13 points and six assists, junior guard Brandon Horne (Louisville, Ky./ Male) finished with 11 points, and senior center Simon Clifford (Louisville, Ky./ DuPont Manual) finished with 10 points.
Talking with Player of the Game, junior guard Ralph Stone we asked him about what the difference was in tonight's game and the first two games they played against Geneva. "Our pressure on the ball and our communication on defense lead us to this win. The two previous games we let them play comfortable and our coaches had been on us about pressuring the ball better than we had been."
The Golden Tornadoes had six people reach the scoring column and only one had double digits. Senior forward Jimmy Leichliter finished with the game high 27 points and six rebounds.
With the win the Saints will continue their march in the playoffs this Saturday, February 24th as they will host the number two seed Bethany College in the Championship game. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. so make sure to come out and support your Saints as they try to win their second straight PAC Championship.