Matt Dyer and five other Saint Dominic Academy boys’ basketball seniors made the story a good one Monday night.

Led by Dyer’s 19 points, 14 rebounds, four assists, four steals and three blocked shots, the Saints closed down Callahan Family Gym for the season in style and kept their Class C West playoff hopes alive and kicking with a 50-41 victory over Oak Hill.

“It was a big win that we were looking forward to getting,” Dyer said. “We beat them last time by 10. We knew we could beat them. Playing here four years with these guys has been an honor, and we just wanted to get this win.”

Madison Jalbert added eight points and Cam Raymond six in their home farewell for St. Dom’s (5-11).

The Saints also got ample assistance from the next wave. Juniors Becket Wagner and Mike Bryant each added six points. Wagner hauled down 12 rebounds as part of a collective effort with fellow Saints big men Dyer and Eruc Ulin to keep Oak Hill center Derek Gamage in check.

St. Dom’s switched defenses from 3-2 to man-to-man and back again, keeping the Raiders (4-12) guessing while holding them to 31 percent from the field.

“We played zone against them (in a win at Oak Hill), and it kind of slows them down,” St. Dom’s coach Todd Flaherty said. “They’re pretty athletic. If we match up they can get to the rim on us, so we tried to slow them down with that zone.”

Dalton Therrien led Oak Hill with 12 points. Gamage combined his 11 points with eight rebounds and six blocked shots.

Sixth man Jonah Martin scored eight of his 10 points in the fourth quarter, when the Raiders twice crept within four before the Saints squirmed away.

“It’s been a long week and a half. This is about my sixth game in eight days,” Oak Hill coach Tom Smith said. “I haven’t been able to game plan for anybody. Practices I can’t run them that hard, because I have a game and we’re right back at it.”

St. Dom’s never trailed after a 6-0 run to end the first quarter. Adam Vining hit two free throws and Wagner and Dyer each scored down low for a 14-8 lead.

Dyer’s two put-backs in an 18-second span made it 23-17 with 1:52 left in the half. Therrien drained a 3-pointer over the Saints’ zone to cut the deficit in half prior to intermission.

“Our 3-2 is pretty good. We’re not a very strong man team, but lately we’ve been a lot better, so we were switching it up and trying to make their life harder,” Dyer said. “The huge dude down low (Gamage) can make a pretty easy 10-foot jumper, but when you force them out to the corners nobody was really hitting shots beside the point guard.”

For his part, Dyer knocked down a trey to give the Saints their biggest lead to that point, 28-20, with 5:28 to go in the third. He followed it later with another second-chance bucket to push the lead to double digits.

Therrien beat the horn with a 3-pointer to get Oak Hill within eight at 35-27.

Martin’s bomb from beyond the arc and lay-up off a Carl Banton steal cut it to 38-34. Gamage sank a jumper from the left elbow to keep it at 40-36 before Bryant went on a personal five-point binge in 30 seconds to seal it.

Dyer had two assists in that run, including a fast break begun by his steal.

“Matt Dyer was excellent tonight. Cam Raymond played a really good game,” Flaherty said. “They all did. This is a big stretch. We feel like we need to win two out of three to be sure we get into the tournament.”

St. Dom’s was in the 12th and final Class C West qualifying spot entering the night. The Saints finish out at Winthrop and Monmouth.

The road is tougher for Oak Hill, on the outside looking in at the Class B West playoff fray. The Raiders do have point-worthy games remaining against Hall-Dale and Boothbay, however.

“We played a little tentative. Turnovers have bugged us all year,” Smith said. “Then we get behind and it’s catch-up the rest of the game. It’s been a brutal stretch.”


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