One season ago, the Sacred Heart Knights won 25 straight games, but fell to Jackson Heights in the state championship game. This year, the Knights lost on opening night before winning 25-straight again, culminating with the 2017 Class 2A boys basketball championship by a 59-51 score over St. John-Hudson. It’s the first state crown since 1981.
St. John led 1-0 to start the game and, as it turned out, were never able to get over the hump to reclaim the advantage. A Sacred Heart 7-0 run gave the Knights a two possession lead. After a low-scoring opening quarter, Sacred Heart led 11-7.
The Tigers cut the deficit to 13-12 early in the second period, but the Knights answered with a 10-0 run to take a double-figure lead just prior to halftime. A late St. John basket made the score 23-14 after 16 minutes.
The teams traded runs in the third quarter with the Tigers closing the gap to four points, the Knights going back up by 10, then St. John only trailing 37-36 heading in to the final frame.
St. John trailed by as little as a single point once more at 39-38 early in the fourth quarter, but Sacred Heart pulled away with Caleb Jordan going 11-for-12 from the free throw line.
Sacred Heart (25-1) Jordan led with 21 points. Stratton Brown added 16 more. Cole Kinnamon led St. John-Hudson (24-2) with 16 points.