BLAIRSTOWN, N.J. -- St. Patrick H.S. of Elizabeth, N.J., knocked down pressure free throws in the final minute and held off Blair Academy, 68-63 on Monday night at Blair.
Mawel Soler knocked down four three throws and scored on a slam dunk drive in the final 1:13 to help the Celtics hold off a Blair rally in the fourth quarter.
St. Pat's led by as many as 13 points in the second half, and was ahead by nine after Soler's dunk with 1:13 to play.
Blair, which struggled shooting from the perimeter throughout the entire contest, hit a pair of three pointers in the final :33 to pull to within 66-63 on a Charlie Villanueva trey with 7.8 seconds left.
Soler's pair of free throws with 6.6 seconds to play gave the Celtics the insurance they needed and effectively put the game out of reach for the Bucs.
Siena bound forward Paul Williams paced St. Pat's with 18 points and seven rebounds on nine of 13 shooting from the floor. Soler added 16 and sharp-shooter Jason Patterson contributed 14 for the Celtics.
Luol Deng pumped in 21 and Villanueva added 20 for the Bucs in defeat. For the second straight game, shooting guard Ben Kenyon struggled from the field and finished with five points.
St. Patrick took control of the game late in first half. The Celtics put together a 16-5 surge to close the half and take a 39-28 lead.
The Celtics swept the season series from the Buccaneers, winning a matchup earlier this month in Elizabeth.
Photo: Paul Williams (left) battles Charlie Villanueva