CHICAGO | As the playofffs approach, Seton Academy senior guard Mark Weems Jr. and his teammates know they have work to do.
The Sting fell 66-58 to Chicago Catholic League South rival St. Rita on Friday night in a game that had plenty of its own playoff feel.
The Mustangs came out strong, and Seton Academy was forced to play catch up the entire game.
Weems led the Sting with 20 points but fouled out with 1:17 left in the game. Alex Foster added 10 points and seven rebounds for Seton Academy.
With the win, St. Rita captured the CCL South conference title and kept the Sting from repeating as conference champs.
"We came out lackadaisical and not ready to play," Weems said. "They seemed like they were playing for a championship, and we seemed like we were playing any other regular-season game. We've got to start games better. "
The Sting struggled to hit shots from the field, shooting 34 percent. St. Rita enjoyed a 31-21 rebounding advantage over Seton Academy and held the Sting to one-and-done possessions all game.
"They beat us up on the glass tonight," Seton Academy coach Brandon Thomas said. "Offensively we were not efficient. Our two leading scorers were 10 for 28. It's going to be tough for us to win when that happens. But in the end, we were still right there."
Seton Academy cut the St. Rita lead to four with 5:04 remaining in the game, but a 6-0 Mustang run rebuilt the St. Rita lead.
The Mustang duo of sophomore Charles Matthews and junior Dominique Matthews combined for 39 points.
"It was a tough shooting night for our team," Weems said. "We're going to go back and regroup. We've got the playoffs coming up, and that's going to be our main focus."