Oh, brother: St. Ray’s beats Xaverian to reach CHSAA ‘AA’ semis

When Oliver Antigua needed some advice on how to beat Xaverian, the St. Raymond’s coach kept it in the family.

Antigua called his older brother Orlando, an assistant at Kentucky who knows a thing or two about the dribble-drive offense.

A member of the 1991 CHSAA championship team, Orlando was being honored with his teammates at St. Ray’s on Jan. 30 and watched the Clippers bang 13 3-pointers in a 17-point blowout.

“We wanted to drive them off the 3-point line and make them shoot twos because they’re a great 3-point shooting team,” Oliver said. “I think we had a fantastic defensive effort and it was a great suggestion by my brother.”

The result was a 59-49 victory in the CHSAA Class AA intersectional quarterfinals on March 3 at St. Francis Prep. The Ravens will play Christ the King in the semifinals Wednesday at Carnesecca Arena. The Royals beat St. Peter’s, 73-46, in the other quarterfinal.

“They came to our house and blew us out, embarrassed us in front of the 1991 alumni so I just had to get payback and tried to move onto the next level, St. John’s, and that’s what we did today,” Daniel Dingle said.

Dingle, a 6-foot-7 junior, paced St. Ray’s with 21 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field and 7-of-9 from the foul line and had 17 rebounds, six assists, three blocks and two steals.

“He’s a great player and he stepped up on a big stage,” Oliver said. “I’m happy for him because he’s a great worker, a winner and a great kid.”

Led by Dingle, who was named the CHSAA “AA” Player of the Year in a vote of league coaches, the Ravens raced out to a 17-6 lead after one quarter and had an 18-point bulge at halftime, limiting Xaverian to four first-half field goals. The Clippers shot 4-of-30 in the first half.

Regular starters Brian Bernardi and Greg Civiletti sat on the bench for much of the first quarter after arriving at St. Francis Prep late. Neither could get into the offensive flow in the first half and their team followed suit, shooting 4-of-30 from the field in the opening 16 minutes.

“It was unfortunate,” Xaverian coach Jack Alesi said. “I don’t want to take anything away from St. Raymond’s. For me to say that did affect us would minimize what they did.”

The Clippers rallied in the third quarter and got within 42-38 on a layup by Marist-bound Manny Thomas (13 points and 12 rebounds), but Xaverian continued to be victimized by a bevy of missed layups.

Shane Rector helped put the game away for the Ravens, scoring 12 of his 16 points in the second half.

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