Melvin Brooks scored 22 points and grabbed five rebounds as Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons routed Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas 52-35 in the Southern Shootout at Gibbons on Saturday night.
After jumping out to a 13-point lead in the first quarter, the Chiefs went cold, scoring only five points over the next 13 minutes. This allowed St. Thomas to storm back and take the lead at 25-21 early in the third behind the play of Sidney Umude. Umude finished with 12 points for the Raiders.
After sitting back in a zone for the entire game, Gibbons coach Marty Seidlin switched his team to a man-to-man. That was all the Chiefs needed to change the momentum. Brooks took over the game, scoring eight of the next 10 points for Gibbons closing the third on a 10-2 run to take a 31-27 lead going into the fourth.
In all, the Chiefs went on a 23-5 run to take a 44-30 lead early in the fourth, and never looked back.
Although Brooks was the finisher on many plays, Gibbons point guard Jose Morales was the creator, finishing with six assists, five coming in the second half.
“Brooks is a great young player. He’s only a junior. He made some great plays,” Seidlin said.
It had been four years since the two Catholic school powers met and it is a matchup that Seidlin wants to keep going for years to come.
“We are best friends,” Seidlin said of his relationship with St. Thomas coach Steve Strand.
“We want to keep this going every year.”