Grammatically speaking, the use of dual exclamation points is generally frowned upon. But the basketball court is rarely about grammar.
For the second time in three days, the Xavier Prep Saints earned an impressive home win over a second-place DVL team, exclamating their late-season surge with a 61-49 victory over Indio on Thursday night. Leading 42-39 entering the final quarter, Xavier played superb end-to-end basketball to close off the Rajahs.
Saints junior guard Joseph Dreisbach led all scorers with a game-high 21 points, including three 3-pointers. Xavier received 13 more points from Gabriel Dreisbach, 10 of which came in the closing period.
“We’ve been shooting a lot in practice and also perfecting our defense,” Joseph Dreisbach said. “And we’re making sure we can stop the middle because that’s where shots have been happening against teams we’ve played.”
A DVL afterthought just two weeks ago, the Saints have now rolled off four straight conference wins and found victory in five of their past six contests. Xavier’s run has suddenly sent the league standings — and accompanying playoff chase — into a tizzy with just one week left in DVL play. The win for Xavier held the Saints’ fourth place standing in league, while Indio dropped into third place with the loss.
“I’m excited to do it,” said Dreisbach of Xavier now poised to enter the playoffs for a third consecutive year. “Our team is playing better than ever right now.”
The Rajahs managed just two field goals in the fourth quarter and were led by an 18-point effort from senior Isaiah Thomas.
“It was Xavier’s Senior Night and they were doing what they’re supposed to in protecting their home court,” said Indio head coach Ivery Thompson. “Xavier hit a lot of big shots, so I have to take my hat off to them. They just played a real strong game and we tried to outshoot them in their own gym and you can’t do that. I think we might have been 8-for-31 from 3-point land and that’s way too many, that’s not our style. But Xavier did a good job on defense too, chasing our shooters and we weren’t patient enough tonight.”
Xavier (11-11, 6-5 DVL), the No. 8 team in Division 5-AA, concludes its DVL season Tuesday at Coachella Valley.
Indio (16-8, 6-4 DVL) had won five of its past six games and entered the week as the 14th-ranked team in Division 3-A. The Rajahs host Cathedral City on Tuesday.