Saint-Viateur cannot catch up with Notre-Dame

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Notre Dame’s Stefan Cicic is a 6-foot-10 sophomore center who, for all intents and purposes, continues to get his feet wet at the college level.

Cicic didn’t play as a freshman due to injuries in the COVID-shortened season.

On Friday night at Niles, Cicic scored in the Dons’ third quarter. The result was a 43-32 victory for Notre-Dame over Saint-Viateur in the Eastern Suburbs Catholic Conference.

Tied at 23 following a Hunter Duncan Lions basket (11 points, 7 rebounds) with 4:48 left in the quarter, Notre Dame (14-8, 6-1) went 11-0 to lead 34-23 at the end of the quarter.

Cicic broke the tie with a field goal and followed with a slam dunk. Anthony McGhee followed with a basket and the run ended with Sonny Williams (10 points) scoring 5 points.

“I think that slam dunk that I had really got the crowd moving,” Cicic said. “When our fans enter the game, it also pushes me forward. My energy and the team’s energy have pushed us forward.”

“Stefan has made tremendous progress for us,” Notre Dame coach Kevin Clancy said. “What helped us in the run was that we had saves. We made some extra passes and players and the way opened up for us.”

Cicic knows what it takes to make him a more complete player.

“I know I have to work harder on my game,” Cicic said. “Every morning when I wake up I think, ‘What can I do in training or in the game to improve myself.’ “

Bryce Coleman of the Dons was a big factor rebounding with 9 points and scoring 6 points.

“Bryce was a huge part for us in the second half,” Clancy said. “He kept them off the boards and was able to give us some points.”

The Dons controlled the boards by a 21-15 advantage.

“We had to play with composure and not rush the game,” said Coleman, a junior. “With my size (6-6), I’m working to get position so I can get the rebounds. To be successful down the stretch, we have to stick together and trust each other.”

The Lions (5-11, 1-4) went through a 7:15 scoreless streak that hurt their chances in the third and fourth quarters. Saint-Viateur scored 4 of his 12 baskets in the second half.

“We tend to have games where we have these droughts,” St. Viator coach Michael O’Keeffe said. “That’s the story of our season. But I think we competed at a high level tonight. We just need to clean up some things on the floor. With our youth, experience will only make us better. .”

Dillon Schmidt scored 9 points for the Lions. Joey Hernandez and Josiah Calvin each scored 6 points.

“Hunter Duncan has all the physical traits to be a really good player,” O’Keeffe said of the junior. “He’s a very good defender. He did a great job for us. He knows he still has things to improve.”


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