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.
Without Nick Richards, The Patrick School Drops Rematch to IMG Academy
By DENNIS CHAMBERSROSELLE, N.J. — Nick Richards was unavailable Sunday afternoon for The Patrick School’s rematch with IMG Academy.
As a result, 2018 forward Silvio De Sousa, ranked 20th in his class by ESPN, erupted for 27 points and multiple highlight reel dunks en route to IMG’s 75-66 victory at Roselle Catholic High School. Uncommitted senior point guard Trevon Duval added 24 points in front of family and friends.
Monmouth-bound senior guard Marcus McClary led the Celtics with 14 points, uncommitted point guard Jordan Walker tallied 12 and uncommitted junior big man Valdir Manuel had 11.
Walker understood just how much the Kentucky-bound big man was missed. Richards is serving a two-game suspension following an altercation on the court Saturday night against Union Catholic.
“Rebounding played a major part,” Walker said. “Playing defense, their bigs did a really good at posting us up low and finishing. I think we definitely could’ve used Nick for some offensive talent too, playing defense too, and rebounding. We definitely needed those three things for sure.”
After losing a close contest in Florida at the City of Palms event in December, The Patrick School was looking forward to a rematch with IMG. On Sunday however, it just wasn’t their day.
“Some games is your game and some games is not,” Walker said. “Some games you make shots and some games you don’t. This is a game I didn’t make shots. This definitely should’ve been the game where I do make shots, but hey I can’t say nothing. I gotta get in the gym and I gotta start working.”
On hand for the anticipated matchup between these two national powerhouse teams were a large contingency of Seton Hall fans.
Along with the fans was head coach KevinWillard and his assistants. Even Pirate players AngelDelgado, DesiRodriguez, and MylesPowell showed up to watch Walker go toe-to-toe with Duval.
“It was a great feeling,” Walker said of the Pirate fans showing their support. “Having a lot of people that I don’t even know, know me, it felt great.”
While Seton Hall has been recruiting Walker for some time, and their fanbase support Sunday was strong, the point guard still doesn’t know what his plans are for next fall.
“I don’t really know right now,” Walker said. “But it was a great feeling having that many fans come to the game for me.”
Next up for The Patrick School will be Plainfield on Feb. 8, and then Archbishop Molloy on Feb. 12 to wrap up their regular season schedule. Richards is expected back for Sunday’s game.
Following the completion of the regular season schedule, the Celtics will play in the Union County Tournament and then the Non-Public B bracket of the state tournament.
But for now, Walker and his teammates can only focus on the games in front of them as they look to close out the season strong.
“We definitely gotta learn from this and we definitely gotta pick this up,” Walker said. “We can’t hold our heads, especially me. As the leader of the team I gotta stay focused and I gotta do what I gotta do.”
Photo: RJ Roan
Follow Dennis on TwitterFollow Adam Zagoria on TwitterAnd like ZAGS on Facebook