Desmond Bane averaged 7 points as a freshman.
That has changed.
The milestone of 1,000 points is now in the rear-view mirror for the Seton Catholic junior. Bane poured in a game-high 29 points Tuesday night, and the Cardinals turned away a Tri High rally in the second half to post a 60-51 victory.
Bane wasted little time in passing the plateau. He needed four points going into the game, and hit two early free throws, then swished a 3-pointer less than 3 minutes into the first quarter.
“I really can’t thank my teammates enough. They put me in such great position to score the basketball,” said Bane, the state’s fifth-leading scorer going into Tuesday’s contest. “We’re just one big family.
“It’s great to get a win against a sectional opponent. It was a nailbiter.”
The Titans certainly didn’t make it easy.
Seton held a double-digit advantage at halftime, and Tri continually chipped away at it until the Titans trailed by just two, 46-44, with 8 minutes to play.
Tri briefly surged ahead, too. Lucas Williams scored the first two baskets of the fourth quarter, and the Titans led 48-46 with 6:42 remaining.
Then, the Seton offense went to work.
Bane tied the game 48-all on two free throws, and Billie Webster put the Cardinals ahead with a three-point play.
That was part of an 11-0 run Seton used to pull away from its Sectional 56 opponent.
“These wins are going to help us down the road,” said Seton coach Josh Jurgens. “Sometimes you just have to gut it out and do your best to win ugly. Most importantly, we got the win.”
It was the fourth straight win for the Cardinals, and their seventh in the last eight outings.
Webster finished with 10 points and five rebounds, while Cliff Dickman scored nine points on three second-quarter 3-pointers.
Bane netted 10 of his points in the final frame as Seton (13-6) protected a winning streak at Chuck Mosey Gymnasium that stretches back to 2012.
The 6-foot-3 standout went to the free-throw line often in the fourth, once after slamming into the wall.
“Most of the time I’m driving to the basket and drawing fouls. I’m just becoming accustomed to it,” said Bane, who also grabbed a game-high 15 rebounds.
“In practice, coach stresses that last suicide is always the most important. You always have to push it, even when you’re tired. You have to give it all you got.”
Bane, who is already Seton’s all-time leader in rebounds and assists, averaged 17.5 points as a sophomore. He is scoring more than 26 per game this season.
Bane was in the lineup his freshman season when Adam Schroeder became the second Cardinal to reach 1,000 points, and also when Schroeder later passed Mark Dirksen and became the program’s all-time leading scorer.
Schroeder was in the Seton stands for Tuesday’s win over the Titans.
“I think that he’s the best player that Seton has ever seen,” Schroeder said of Bane. “He works harder than anybody, in the gym and out of the gym.
” … It was great to be able to work with him as he was growing up and developing. Obviously he surpassed anything that we could imagine.”
Added Jurgens: “It’s a great feat to accomplish in four years, but to do it in three is remarkable. It says a lot about him.”
Josh Chapin: (765) 973-4463 firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/JoshChapinPI
Seton’s Desmond Bane prepares to shoot a three pointer to pass 1,000 points in his career, Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015, during a basketball game against Tri at Seton in Richmond.
CARDINALS 60, TITANS 51
TRI HIGH (2-16)– Mondrush 3 0-0 8, Melton 0 0-0 0, Cox 6 2-2 14, O’Neill 2 0-0 6, Harrison 2 0-1 4, Phelps 4 0-0 9, Williams 5 0-1 10. TOTALS– 22 2-4 51.
SETON CATHOLIC (13-6)-Webster 4 2-2 10, Bane 7 12-14 29, Z.Rogers 0 0-0 0, Pipenger 3 0-0 7, Dickman 3 0-0 9, J.Rogers 2 1-2 5, Haber 0 0-0 0, Westjohn 0 0-0 0. TOTALS-19 15-18 60.
Tri High 2 21 44 51
Seton Catholic 12 37 46 60
3-pointers– T 5 (Mondrush 2, O’Neill 2, Phelps), SC 6 (Bane 2, Pipenger, Dickman 3). Rebounds-T 30 (Williams 7), SC 33 (Bane 15). Turnovers-T 11, SC 10. Fouls-T 16, SC 10. Fouled out-None. JV-Tri High 50, Seton Catholic 32.