Sablan Joins 1,000 Point Club; Barons Held off by Spartans

Sablan Joins 1,000 Point Club; Barons Held off by Spartans

STEUBENVILLE – Senior captain Keoni Sablan made history for the Barons with this 1,000th career point, despite the Barons dropping a closely contested 75-66 AMCC matchup, Saturday afternoon.

Sablan became the first player for the men's basketball team in the new era of Franciscan athletics to reach the 1,000-point milestone and the 16th player in Franciscan basketball history to reach the mark. The "new era" of Franciscan athletics began in the 2007-08 academic year as the Barons re-joined the NCAA as a provisional member. Sablan currently is averaging 12.1 points per game and has 1,001 career points after his nine-point effort against the Spartans.

"Keoni Sablan has been a staple in this program for four years and could've bailed out when things got extremely tough," remarked head coach Joe Wallace. "He stayed and we are extremely grateful for him. Keoni is the epitome of a Franciscan basketball player. He leads, he's tough, he works, and he's not afraid to be strong in his faith. I've been blessed to have him in my life. I wish I could have coached him for four years."

Trailing 46-40 3:18 into the second half, Sablan drove to the basket for a layup in traffic to get the Barons back to within four, 46-42, but Will Vanauken answered on the other end of the court. Sablan used the Barons' next possession to make history and went to the baseline for another contested layup for his ninth point of the game and his 1,001st career point. The Spartans went on a 4-0 run to push their lead to eight with 13:39 to play. Franciscan never backed down but the Spartans were able to find an answer for each of the Barons' baskets. Senior Jacob Divens got the Barons to within three with a layup and a subsequent free throw with 8:22 to play.

The Spartans and Barons went back and forth for the next four minutes as junior Juwan Perkins made a jumper with 4:15 to play to keep the gap at four, 68-64. D'Youville closed out the game on a 7-2 run, including five points from the free throw line, to pick up the 75-66 win.

"Today was a case of not being mentally prepared," remarked Coach Wallace. "I'll take the blame for that. We were a little too high after Wednesday's win. I love these kids and enjoy being their coach, but we were soft tonight. I was soft and it showed. We will get back after it tomorrow to prepare to get a road win at Geneva on Monday."

Franciscan opened the game with a 13-10 lead after the first 5:11, the run capped by a three-pointer by freshman Sean Hickey. The Spartans used a 10-2 run over the next four minutes to take a 20-15 lead. A free throw from Trent and a layup from sophomore Josh York made it a two-point game, 20-18, with 8:59 to play but Jake Socha promptly answered with a free throw of his own to keep the lead at two. Franciscan battled back for the lead as Joe Vernau and Trent hit back-to-back shots to give FUS a 22-21 lead with 7:20 to play before Joe Schriner pushed the Baron lead to three, 24-21, with a pair of free throws. D'Youville re-took the lead with a 5-0 run but Trent tied it at 26-26 with 6:08 to play with a jumper coming out of a Baron timeout. After an 11-4 run by the Spartans, the Barons cut their deficit down to five thanks to a pair of baskets by Hickey and Vernau and Aaron Foldi closed out the scoring for the half with a layup with 1:08 to play and the two teams headed into the locker room as DYC lead 40-36.

Sablan posed five points in the first half and need just four to reach the 1,000 point milestone in the second.

Perkins and Trent led the Barons with 10 points each while Trent posted his second double-double of the season with 14 rebounds.

The Barons take a brief break from AMCC action as they head to Geneva on Monday for a 7:30 pm non-conference contest.