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Saint Ignatius loses to Serra in heartbreaker

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SAN MATEO — Fighting an uphill battle, the St. Ignatius Wildcats were moments away from a rivalry win in the Jungle Game at Serra on Wednesday.

S.I. held a two-point lead with 4.3 seconds left, on the brink of its second win at Serra since 2000. Instead, it all fell apart as Serra sophomore Parker McDonald’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer gave the host Padres a 60-59 win.

Despite facing a rambunctious Serra crowd, St. Ignatius (19-4, 10-3 WCAL) took a 58-56 lead on Matt Redmond’s 3-pointer from the corner with 59 seconds to go.

After Redmond split a pair of free throws, the Padres inbounded to McDonald, who faced a double team on his way up the court.

“We knew he would get the ball, so we doubled him the whole way,” said St. Ignatius head coach Rob Marcaletti. “He just made a great shot sandwiched between two defenders and the cheering section.”

McDonald was defended so well, in fact, it threw off Serra’s gameplan.

“Coach said to just get it and go, and to take it to the rack,” McDonald said. “I didn’t see the lane to the basket, so I just put it up. It felt good coming out of my hands.”

Despite the heartbreaking loss, Marcaletti was proud of the effort his team showed.

“So many teams come in here and get intimidated by the crowd,” he said. “Our guys came out hungry.”

It was a tightly contested battle the entire way, with neither team holding an advantage of more than six points.

St. Ignatius led 34-28 with 6:39 remaining in the third, but Serra (12-11, 6-7) surged and led for most of the second half.

Jack Wilson, Serra’s 7-1 center committed to Oregon State, had just two points at halftime but finished with a team-high 16, while McDonald’s heroic shot gave him 15 points on the night.

Redmond and fellow Wildcat junior Brandon Beckman each scored 17 for the visitors.

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