Dayton, Ohio —- The Alter boys basketball team had an outstanding season end at the hands of Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary on Friday night as the Fighting Irish knocked off the Knights by the final score of 72-47. In front of a crowd at UD Arena of 5,131, the 25-2 Alter Knights were looking to reach the State Final, but St. Vincent-St. Mary was looking to reach their sixth straight State Final Game.
Alter came out hot to start the game as Anthony Ruffolo hit a corner three about two minutes into the game to open up the scoring on either side. Ruffolo would hit another three from the wing Alter’s next time down the court as he hit back-to-back three pointers to open up the Alter lead at 6-2. Alter would go on a 10-2 run to open the game before the Irish started to get into a rhythm offensively and closed the first quarter out shooting 23.1% as a team and had a 13-8 deficit on the scoreboard.
The second quarter was a game of adjustments for the Irish as they completely flipped the script and outscored Alter 19-6 in the quarter. The Irish shot 56.3% in the second quarter compared to Alter’s 30%, and the Irish stepped up their intensity and pressure on the defensive side of the ball and forcing turnovers. The Irish would go into the half up 27-19 as Alter looked to rebound from the 9 turnovers and 24 points allowed in the paint.
The second half ultimately was a game of runs on both sides. The Irish once again came out hot and shot the ball well and extended the lead up to 11 points, but Alter went on a run. With 3:30 remaining in the third quarter the Knights would go on a run to cut the lead to 36-31 before the Irish went on a run of their own and ended the quarter with an 11 point lead at 46-35.
The Irish would continue to exert their size and athleticism in the fourth quarter as any time Alter continued to make a run the Irish would respond with a run of their own. The Knights were outscored in the fourth quarter 26-12 en route to the Irish win at 72-47, as 21 forced turnovers by the Irish helped to seal the win. Ramar Pryor finished with a game high 23 points for the Irish as the Knights were led offensively by Anthony Ruffolo and A.J. Leen, each scoring 13 points.
While Alter’s season ended earlier than they would have liked, they certainly have nothing to hang their heads about as they ended an incredible season at 25-3, outright GCL Champions at 10-0 in conference play, with their only two regular season losses coming at the hands of Fairmont and Providence Day (NC). Alter will look to make another run next year as they return all but two starters in Jacob Conner, heading to Marshall, and Senior Ryan Chew.