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.
St. Patrick Downs Paterson Catholic; Cheek Leads St. Anthony to Rebound Victory
North Carolina-bound guard Dexter Strickland hit four clutch free throws in the final 16.7 seconds and St. Patrick won the Battle of New Jersey at the Beach Ball Classic.
The Celtics, ranked No. 2 in the ESPN RISE Fab 50, downed Paterson Catholic, 64-57 in the quarterfinals of the tournament in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
George Mason-bound forward Paris Bennett led the Celtics with 21 points and sophomore Michael Gilchrist added 15.
“Theyr’e a very good team,” said St. Patrick coach Kevin Boyle, whose team led 35-18 at the half. “We should be finishing them off. They’re a better outside shooting team than I thought they were.
“You’re in these tournaments, a win’s a win, a loss is a loss. You get the ‘W.’ It’s better to teach with a win. You should be putting a game like that away.”
St. Patrick will meet the winner of Monday’s game between Arlington Country Day (FL) and Pennsbury (PA) in Tuesday’s semifinals. The championship game is Wednesday.
Sophomore point guard Myles Mack paced No. 33 PC with 20 points, hitting 6 of 12 from beyond the arc, and junior Fuquan Edwin added 19 points.
St. Patrick led by as many as 19 and appeared to be cruising to victory, but Mack hit a 3 with 19.5 seconds left to cut the lead to 60-57.
Mack fouled Strickland on the ensuing play and Strickland hit both foul shots for a 62-57 lead with 16.7 seconds left
Strickland added two more free throws in the final seconds for a 64-57 lead. He finished with nine points.
“We played tremendous in the first half and we didn’t have the same kind of intensity in the second half,” Boyle said. “And Myles Mack shot the [heck] out of it in the second half.”
“You’re playing prevent defense and you’re not playing with the same intensity and we could’ve lost it.”
St. Patrick was expected to win this game, but the Cougars must come out of it feeling as if they can play with the top team in Jersey and one of the premier teams in the nation.
The two teams cannot meet again until the North Non-Public B playoffs next March. St. Pat’s will be the favorite to win that bracket and to capture the Tournament of Champions, especially after St. Anthony looked vulnerable in losing to O’Dowd in San Diego on Friday night.
With two days off before the semis, Boyle said the team planned to enter a miniature golf tournament, practice outdoors and hit the movies.
BOYS & GIRLS 71, JL MANN 56
Earlier in the day, Brooklyn Boys & Girls downed J.L. Mann (S.C.) 71-56 behind Michael Taylor’s 21 points.
Lamont Samuell added 13 and Leroy Isler 10.
Boys & Girls will meet Marietta (Ga.) Wheeler in Monday’s semifinals.
ST. ANTHONY REBOUNDS WITH VICTORYOne day after seeing its 34-game winning streak come to an end, St. Anthony rebounded with a 56-46 victory over Foothills (Calif.) Christian at the MaxPreps Holiday Classic at Torrey Pines, Calif.
Villanova-bound wing Dominic Cheek poured in 24 points and Quinnipiac commit Jamee Jackson added 17. Cheek managed just eight points in Friday’s loss to Bishop O’Dowd.
St. Anthony (4-1) led 33-21 at the half.
Jvonte Brooks had 14 for Foothills Christian (9-3) and Troy Leaf scored 13.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.