Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Catholic Memorial Stuns BC High… Again

 By Matt Feld (@mattyfeld612)

WEST ROXBURY, Mass.- If BC High has a secret formula to their success, Catholic Memorial appears to have figured it out.

On Tuesday night, the Knights knocked off the Eagles for the second time this season. Behind Kani Glover’s 24 points, and bolstered by Will McDonnell’s 19, Catholic Memorial held off a furious fourth quarter rally by BC High to knock off their conference rivals, 88-85, at Ronald S. Perry Memorial Gymnasium.

Catholic Memorial improves to 11-5 with the win, while BC High drops to 15-2, with both their losses coming at the hands of the Knights.

However, the Eagles can still clinch the Catholic Conference with a win over St. John’s Prep on Thursday.

Knights’ coach Denis Tobin said his team’s offensive improvement in recent weeks is simply due to better shooting.

“We’re shooting much better recently,” said Tobin. “Kani (Glover) has become a terrific second option. Will (McDonnell) hit shots tonight, and Jarrett Martin has shown improvement. The way we play is conducive to a game like tonight in the 80s and 90.”

Catholic Memorial seemed to have control of the game early in the fourth quarter, holding a 78-68 advantage.

The Eagles, however, strung together a 7-0 run as Carl Pierre (21 points) scored four straight and Travis Evee knocked down a three pointer to pull BC High within 78-75.

Moments later Mike Vasil tied the game up at 80 with a three pointer from the right wing.

The game remained tied with Glover and Jimmy Tan exchanging buckets, but Coleman splashed home a three pointer from behind the arc to give the Knights an 85-82 lead.

BC High evened things once again on a free throw by Evee and two more by Myles Owens. On the Knights ensuing possession, though, Glover got to the bucket off a simple pick and roll and laid it up and in to put Catholic Memorial back up two, 87-85.

At the other end of the floor, Pierre attempted a go-ahead three pointer and may have received a slap on the arm, but no foul was called, and Rudy Jean was able to corral the rebound.

Jean hit one of two at the charity stripe, and the Eagles last second half court heave was no good, giving Catholic Memorial a hard fought three-point win.

“You have to pick your poison with (BC High)," said Tobin. "They have the two superstars in Carl Pierre and Travis Evee, so you have to try and make them score - if they score - via their big kids."

The Eagles struggled against Catholic Memorial’s 3-2 zone in the team’s first matchup, but in the first quarter behind Pierre BC High was able to jump out to a 20-16 lead.

Early in the second stanza, the Knights came storming back. Flynn came up with four consecutive layups off defensive rebounds to put Catholic Memorial up six, 28-22.

Knights sharpshooter Will McDonnell then got in on the action as he sunk three treys in the second frame to help Catholic Memorial build a 10 point lead.

BC High received some production off the bench, however, as the duo of Matt Thompson and Jimmy Tan helped the Eagles pull within two.

Tan and Thompson splashed home consecutive shots from long distance, and Tan also made his presence known with a tip in at the buzzer to cut Catholic Memorial’s lead to 43-41 at halftime.

Catholic Memorial built some breathing room early in the third quarter due in large part to McDonnell and Glover.

McDonnell (19 points, 8 assists, 9 rebounds) began the half by finishing on a backdoor cut and Glover proceeded to knock down two three pointers to push Catholic Memorials lead back up to seven.

Evee tried to answer for the Eagles with a three pointer and a pair of free throws, but McDonnell as he seemingly did all evening had an answer. This time, the junior guard buried long, high-arcing three pointers from the corner to help the Knights maintain a 10-point edge heading into the fourth quarter.

“I've been in a slump lately but I knew I needed to step up tonight,” said McDonnell. “I knew BC High was going to guard Ulyen (Coleman) tough so me and Kani (Glover) and others needed to step up. They let me get hot and I kind of just rolled with that. We have too many offensive weapons so every game one or two people will have great shooting nights.”

Both teams will now both focus on improving their state tournament seeding, with BC High trying to clinch two home games, while the Knights look to hold on to their lead for one.

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