Gritty Golden Knights Beat Crespi Carmelite Celts


“Just have fun.” That was the message St. Francis head coach Todd Wolfson delivered to his team when they were down 24-17 at the end of the first half in Monday night’s game against Crespi Carmelite. That simple directive provided the spark of motivation for the team to find a way to come back and take the win from the Celts 49-46.

The Golden Knights entered Mission League play strong, with the goal of being tenacious. St. Francis began the game on a short run, able to expose early on Crespi’s defensive weaknesses. The Golden Knights had the advantage at the end of the first quarter 15-8. But the Celts made the adjustments needed as the second quarter got under way, and stalled the Golden Knight offense by only allowing two points all quarter. Senior Crespi guard Robert Power helped the Celts go on a 12-1 run in the late stages of the second half resulting in the Celts taking the lead at the end of the half.

“We went in the locker room and the coaches and my teammates, they told me to just be me, just play basketball, play my game and just let the game come to me,” said St. Francis senior guard Andre Henry, who has committed to UC Irvine, about the second quarter performance.

The Knights played gritty in the second half, fighting for every rebound and for every loose ball. Henry added 14 points in the third quarter as well as Golden Knight senior Kai Glasson helped with a key 3-pointer.

In the fourth the Golden Knights were looking to make a comeback but the Celts weren’t going to give in easily. Points flew back and forth down to the final seconds when St. Francis found itself up by one. The shot clock was winding down and Henry cinched victory for the Golden Knights by driving right into the lane and hitting a reverse layup to put his team up by three with 8.3 seconds remaining. The Celts had one last attempt to tie the game but the Golden Knights would have none of it, taking the win 49-46.

“I knew we needed a bucket and honestly I just wanted to go home,” said Henry.

This victory puts the Golden Knights at 1-0 in conference play and 18-4 on the season. The Golden Knights will travel to Chaminade High School to play the Eagles on Jan. 15.