It’s a familiar feeling for Senior Yuri Collins.
This time last year he was celebrating a district title win but with a different cast.
“Its big. I’ve been in this atmosphere before. I like big games like this you just have to come out and play our game.”
The South Side Dragons faced off against one of the most electrifying offenses in the area, the Gateway STEM Jaguars. Led by senior guard Ikel Sevier who averaged 21 points per game, the Jaguars normally have no problem running up the score.
This night was different.
The Dragons’ 75-58 win over the Jaguars didn’t start as dominating as the score might imply. Gateway’s Sevier and crew fought blow for blow with the Dragons, keeping the lead for the majority of the first half.
The second quarter saw St. Mary’s settle in and turn up the heat. Collins, who was kept to 4 points the first quarter went off for 14 in the 2nd and brought the Dragons back and into the lead going into half time with a 34-30 lead.
“My second wind kicked in, and that’s when we really started to turn up…I’m the leader of the team, and how I go is how the team is going to go…I knew I had to pick it up,” Collins said. Collins would finish the game with a season high 35 points.
For Coach Turner, it’s been familiar in a different way. Turner was once the coach of Gateway STEM, but on Friday he’s heading up the opposite bench.
“It’s kind of bittersweet. I’ve been telling these guys all week this was a team that wasn’t going to back down and was going to be real dangerous because that’s some of the elements that I already instilled over there [at Gateway].”
Junior guard Sofora Rasa, who finished with 24 points of his own, is just picking up where his brother left off. “It means a lot to me. A couple years back I can remember myself sitting on the bench and watch my brother do the same thing.” Rasa continues, “I followed in his footsteps, but I’m making my own footsteps now.” His brother, Yahuza Rasas, was a key part of last year’s district title win. Sofora is leading the team with 455 points on the year, creating more than just footprints.