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Ellis shoots Bears to win

It appeared Keith and Saint Jude were poised for overtime before George Price intercepted a Keith pass with nothing but open court in front him.

However, a whistle — the result of Keith coach Tommy Tisdale calling a timeout prior to the ill-advised pass — ended the play prematurely. Price, disgusted with the call, threw the ball at the backboard, drawing a technical foul with 48.9 seconds left in the game.

“I think that was the turning point in the game,” said Saint Jude coach Earl Taylor. “We’ve got to show a little more composure than that.”

It proved to be the difference as Rodney Ellis hit two free throws and the Bears pulled out a 45-42 win.

“We needed one of these,” said Tisdale. “We fought back and played as a unit.”

The Bears (9-11) raced out of the gate behind two Forest Pasley layups and led 12-8 after the first period. They built their lead on a 9-2 second quarter run triggered by a Rodney Ellis 3-pointer to extend the lead to 24-16, and led 24-18 at the break.

But the Pirates (6-2) opened the third quarter with an 8-2 run capped by two Austin Hill free throws to tie the game at 26 with 5:50 left in the period. Two minutes later, a Josh Parson layup gave the Pirates their first lead of the night at 28-27.

Keith regained control on a Gerald Matthews 3-point play and Pasley layup to lead 33-28 going into the fourth quarter.

“Keith hit some big shots,” said Taylor. “It was a good, hard-fought game.”

A Charles Knight 3-pointer started an 8-2 Pirate run to retake the lead at 37-35 with 3:43 remaining in the contest. The lead changed hands twice more before two Pasley free throws knotted the score at 41, and set the stage for Price’s game-turning outburst.

Pasley led the Bears with 13 points and D’wan Lewis added 12.

Knight led the Pirates with 12 points and Austin Hill chipped in 11.