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December 30, 2002LEWES, Del. -- Our Savior New America H.S. of Centereach, N.Y., opened up a 48-40 late third quarter lead, but held off a furious late game rally by Good Counsel H.S. from Wheaton, Md., to emerge with a 62-60 victory on Sunday evening at the Slam Dunk to the Beach.
Notre Dame signee Omari Isreal actually gave Good Counsel a short-lived 57-56 lead via a pair of free throws with 1:47 remaining, but slinky 6-1 shooting guard Walter Murray connected on a corner three pointer with :56 remaining to give the Pioneers the lead for good at 61-59.
The final minute of the game was wild. Each team managed just a single free throw, but Hans Stelzer missed a pair of free throws that resulted from a bench technical on the Good Counsel head coach for arguing a non-travel call, and usually reliable 6-8 forward Juan Palacios missed an easy lay-up.
In the final :14, Scott Fumai and Kevin App missed shots that could have given Good Counsel the lead. Our Savior's Oumar Sylla grabbed the loose ball with 3.2 seconds left and was fouled. He connected on one of two free throws to account for the game's final margin and score.
After a terrific first half performance (5/8 shooting, 14 points), Palacios hit just two shots in the second half. He still finished with 19 points to lead the Pioneers, while Sylla chipped in 13 in the victory.
Gist pumped in 22 points on crisp 10 of 12 shooting before fouling out. Isreal added 16 points and nine rebounds for Good Counsel.
Our Savior will face Oakland Tech in a Monday fifth place game of the main Slam Dunk National bracket.