Justin Shockley hits pull up jumper over top Sullivan defender.
NEW HAVEN, Mo. - Friday night New Haven knocked off Sullivan 56-53 after nearly giving up a 17 point fourth quarter lead. This was New Haven’s second straight conference win after defeating Owensville on Tuesday 45-40.
The story of the night and was exactly what New Haven has been looking for all season came from sophomore guard Justin Shockley’s team high 18 points. Shockley’s outside shooting with three point range may be the “X” factor the Shamrocks have been looking for and forcing opponents to divert some of their attention away from Kyle Ruediger.
Ruediger finished with 16 points and Brandon Carey also hit double figures with 10 points.
The Eagles were lead by Caleb Prior’s game high 22 points, 17 of them coming in the fourth quarter.
New Haven ended the half on a 17-4 run, which was sparked by Shockley’s first quarter ending three pointer. Sullivan struggled offensively scoring just four points in the second quarter, going scoreless through the first six minutes.
Will Soete lays it in and draws the foul after forcing a steal.
New Haven would jump out to their largest lead early in the fourth quarter following back to back steals by Ruediger then Will Soete who would get fouled and complete the three point play, taking at 43-26 with 6:23 left.
Sullivan began pressing full court, which forced New Haven into several turnovers, sparking a late fourth quarter 14-3 run led by Pryor who pulled his team with in six (46-40) after hitting one of his three, three pointers of the quarter with 2:32 remaining.
Brandon Carey at the free throw line, scoring two of his 10 points.
New Haven responded thanks to Ruediger’s eight points in the quarter, going 6-6 from the line as New Haven clung to a eight point lead, 53-45, with 51 seconds to go.
Pryor nailed two straight threes making it a three point game, 56-53. Sullivan would send Shockley to the line with 10 seconds left but would miss both free throws. New Haven would end up converting on just 12 of 20 free throws in the final quarter.
However, Sullivan was unable to take advantage after turning it over on the ensuing play and ultimately ending what would have been a prolific comeback.
In his last home game, Ruediger’s 16 points places him 13th on the list all-time career points leaders with 1,129, moving past Kent Kreftmeyer.
Kyle Ruediger elevates and drains two of his 16 points.
New Haven improves to 11-12 on the season and 2-3 in conference play. The Shamrocks will end the regular season next week with games at Hermann on Tuesday and St. Clair on Friday.
New Haven is seeded third in districts and will play their first round game on Tues. Feb. 23 at Barat Academy against Crossroads.