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LuHi over Stepinac 79-72

Frankie Policelli scored a game-high 25 points, including seven 3-pointers, as Long Island Lutheran pulled away from Archbishop Stepinac in the fourth quarter, topping the Crusaders 79-72 at the Apparel Challenge in Queens on Sunday.

With the game knotted at 61, Policelli connected on three triples down the stretch, accounting for 9 points during a crucial 10-2 run by LuHi that proved to be the difference.

Policelli also had three 3-pointers in the opening quarter, with LuHi opening the game on an 8-2 run and holding a 22-13 lead after the first frame.

Stepinac came back to tie it at 24 on Alan Griffin's steal and dunk, and the Crusaders took their first lead at 26-24 after Xavier Wilson converted an intercepted pass under Stepinac's hoop.

LuHi took the lead back at 29-28 on a 3-pointer by Donatas Kupsas, and they stretched it to 38-30 before Alan Griffin's buzzer-beating 3-pointer made it 38-33 at the break.

RJ Davis and Adrian Griffin provided Stepinac with an offensive boost in the third, and Tyson Etienne and Essam Mostafa did the same for LuHi, as both teams went punch for punch throughout the quarter. Davis' runner with 7 ticks in the frame gave Stepinac a 55-54 advantage before Etienne's pull-up 3-pointer just beat the horn, giving LuHi a 57-55 lead heading into the fourth.

Stepinac called for time with possession and the game tied at 61, but Policelli's peritmeter burst followed, and LuHi suddenly held a 71-63 lead. A deep three-pointer by Alan Griffin trimmed the deficit to five, but LuHi defended Stepinac's other late possessions and emerged with the 79-72 win.  

In addition to Policelli's 25, Etienne finished with 20 points and Kupsas had 11 for LuHi.

For Stepinac, Alan Griffin had 22 points, Davis 16 and Adrian Griffin 15.

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