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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Wednesday / June 28.
  • The Patrick School Tops Roselle Catholic Again, Looks Ahead to IMG Academy

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    ROSELLE, N.J. — Another look at The Patrick School just wasn’t enough to secure a victory for Roselle Catholic, as the Lions dropped their second consecutive game to their rivals, 64-58.

    Despite dropping this contest on their home court Thursday night, Roselle Catholic managed to make the second matchup with The Patrick School much more competitive.

    The first meeting between these two powerhouses last month ended in an 18-point win for The Patrick School at Kean University.

    Kentucky-bound big man Nick Richards led the charge against Roselle Catholic with a 22-point, 10-rebound double-double. Richards also swatted two shots out of the air.

    In a closely contested battle, the five-star prospect put his team in the best position to win by simply trusting himself.

    “I just trust myself with my moves and my shots,” Richards said. “I just tried to take as many good shots as possible, and whatever happens, happens.”

    Meeting Richards on the block for most of the night was junior big man, and five-star prospect, Naz Reid. The Roselle Catholic product finished with 13 points, and a pair of backboard pinning blocks himself.

    Reid also displayed his range from deep.

    The matchup between the two highly touted front court players is something Richards always looks forward to.

    “Whenever I go up against Naz, we always go head to head no matter what,” Richards said. “It’s always a great game just watching me and Nazi play.”

    Uncommitted senior guard Jordan Walker was the catalyst behind The Patrick School’s first victory over Roselle Catholic, scoring 22 points.

    Thursday night the 5-foot-10 floor general added 15 points, including eight in the fourth quarter.

    Walker admitted the closer contest this time around could have been the result of seeing fresh faces on the Roselle Catholic bench.

    “Roselle pretty much has a whole different team,” Walker said about the difference between the first and second meetings. “We have the same team. So I guess we didn’t really know what they were capable of, and they didn’t know what we were capable of because they had new kids. I guess playing them again, they knew some of the stuff we do. They definitely focused in on some of our plays and some of our key players even more. Luckily we just grinded out the win.”

    The Patrick School will be back at Roselle Catholic’s gym on Sunday, but this time with a different opponent.

    IMG Academy is participating in the Thomas F. Richel Memorial Hoopfest, giving The Patrick School an opportunity to avenge their 70-65 City of Palms loss in December.

    Led by the nation’s top rated point guard Trevon Duval, IMG poses a tough task for the hot squad from New Jersey.

    A more poised effort this time around could make the difference for The Patrick School.

    “I think it’s going to be a good game,” Walker said. “In Florida I think we turned the ball over like nine times in the fourth quarter, which definitely hurt us. As long as we play as a team, stay together, and follow the formula and take care of the ball, I think we can definitely grind out the win.”

    Richards is fixated more on showing his team can compete with the Florida powerhouse.

    “We lost to IMG in overtime at City of Palms,” Richards said. “Right now we’re just trying to get payback because we thought we should’ve won that game. We were up by 17 and ended up losing by four. So right now, that’s the game we really want and we want payback for that.”

    For Walker, a point guard still without a home next fall, he wants to prove to on-lookers that he can compete with the cream of the crop in Duval.

    “I think it’s really fun that I get to play against the No. 1 point guard in the country,” Walker said. “I think the first time he played really well, and I didn’t play really well. But I think this time as a team we’re going to play better and I am too. It’s definitely fun playing against the No. 1 point guard in the country, but I think I’m going to show people I belong up there too.”

     

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