29
Dec 2014

DSC_0002The opening session of Day Two at Slam Dunk to the Beach featured some high-flying fireworks and three impressive team efforts by the victors. Mount St. Joseph (MD) got the day started with a 63-47 triumph over St. Georges (DE). That was followed by fifth-ranked Roselle Catholic’s (NJ) 71-55 win against The Haverford School (PA). The session wrapped up with Saints Neumann And Goretti (PA) routing Sanford (DE), 65-47.

St. Georges jumped out to an early 13-4 edge in game one, but a 30-second timeout by Mount St. Joseph coupled with a defensive adjustment keyed a run by the Gaels. A suffocating full-court press led to five St. Georges turnovers in the final 3:41 of the opening quarter and got Mount St. Joseph to within 17-16 after eight minutes.

The defensive surge continued into the second period as St. Georges went scoreless over the first three minutes and committed three more turnovers during that stretch. The Seahawks went almost six full minutes without a field goal and finished the first half with 10 giveaways. Mount St. Joseph took a 26-24 edge into intermission.

“We did scout them yesterday and we felt like our pressure could be bothersome,” said Mount St. Joseph head coach Pat Clatchey. “It kind of gives us a chance to create a little bit more tempo and things like that. Some teams you can’t do that against, but we felt like, while that was a good team, once we got it out of #2’s (Kyson Rawls) hands, the decision making and the ball handling was a little questionable.”

The pressure persisted into the second half, as St. Georges continued to rush shots and turn the ball over. Mount St. Joseph scored the first nine points of the third quarter and kept St. Georges off the board for almost four minutes to open up a double-digit edge, 35-24.

The offense took over from their for Mount St. Joseph. Nigel Jackson knocked down a trio of treys as the lead swelled to as large as 22 in the fourth quarter. Jackson led the Gaels with 17 points, 15 of which came after the break. Darryl Morsell added 12 points while Randy Miller had 11.

“Nigel’s a really good shooter,” Clatchey said. “He’s only a sophomore and he got hot, but guys were finding him. He just had the confidence and the rhythm to really knock shots down. The ball found him, and I told him, ‘I’m a big believer that when you do the hustle and the effort things, God rewards you.’ When he dove on the floor and came up with the loose ball and got us a bucket, the basketball Gods just said it was time for Jackson to have a great game, and he did.

Kyson Rawls carried St. Georges with 18 points, nine rebounds and three steals.

Game two was competitive for the better part of three quarters before Roselle Catholic pulled away down the stretch. Haverford held a one-point lead after one quarter and trailed by only eight at the break. The Fords got to within five points midway through the third period thanks to the yeoman efforts of freshman Cameron Reddish, who finished with 25 points on only 13 shot attempts.

“Absolutely, [Reddish] is special,” said Haverford head coach Henry Fairfax. “He’s a prodigious talent and a great kid, first and foremost. A solid student and an outstanding athlete and that’s something we are really proud of at Haverford School. We’re excited to have him for another couple of years.”

But Roselle Catholic’s depth eventually caught up to Haverford, and a 12-2 spurt late in the third put the game away. Isaiah Briscoe, the top-rated point guard in the class of 2015 by ESPN.com, led the Lions with 23 points. He also created the two most memorable moments of the day. His pass off the backboard setup teammate Chris Silva for a fast-break flush early in the fourth quarter, which brought the near-capacity crowd to its feet. He then gave the fans another thrill when he got a steal and threw down a thunderous one-hand jam in transition later in the period.

As his head coach Dave Boff described it afterward, Briscoe and his teammates were just enjoying the moment.

“You’ve got to have some fun, man,” Boff said. “I mean its high school basketball and when push comes to shove, these are kids playing a game and it’s supposed to be fun. At the level we’re at, sometimes the fun gets sucked out of it by a bunch of things, and when they have the opportunity to enjoy themselves and be kids, I hope that they do that and I expect them to have fun.”

In the finale, Saints Neumann And Goretti proved too strong for Sanford. The Saints erupted in the second quarter for 22 points, doing much of the damage in transition.

“I don’t know if I’ve seen them play as well as they played today,” lamented Sanford head coach Stan Waterman. “Of course, we didn’t do a whole lot to help ourselves. They just beat us up and down the floor, and in the first half it was just a bunch of layups. We got off to a great start in the first quarter and I thought we were ready to play. Then in that second quarter they got a lot of easy baskets–transition baskets–and that was the difference in the game.”

Saints head coach Carl Arrigale said it’s an aspect of the game his team works at every single day.

“We’re a big transition team,” Arrigale said. “We work on it a lot. I mean, our hope is to get as many easy ones as we can, and then we walk into some of those transition-threes, and they’re the ones that separate you most of the time. We hit a couple of those tonight which I was really happy to see.”

Sophomore Quade Green had another big game for Neumann-Goretti. After dropping 27 in a win over Gill St. Bernard’s, Green added 22 more on Sunday. Most impressive was the fact that he needed just 11 shots to do it.

Mikey Dixon led the way in a losing cause for Sanford with 20 points. Eric Ayala added 12 for the Warriors.

Slam Dunk to the Beach continues on Sunday with three more games during the second session. The action gets underway at 6 p.m. as Sunrise Christian (KS) takes on Christ The King (NY). It continues at 7:30 p.m. when Salesianum (DE) gets a shot at USA Today’s No. 36 team in the nation, St. Vincent-St. Mary (OH), and then concludes at 9 p.m. when Gonzaga College (DC) battles Gill St. Bernard’s (NJ).

THEY SAID IT:

Mount St. Joseph Head Coach Pat Clatchey

Nigel [Jackson’s] a really good shooter. He’s only a sophomore and he got hot, but guys were finding him. He just had the confidence and the rhythm to really knock them down. The ball found him, and I told him, ‘I’m a big believer that when you do the hustle and the effort things, God rewards you.’ When he dove on the floor and came up with the loose ball and got us a bucket, the basketball Gods just said it was time for Jackson to have a great game, and he did.”

“We did scout them yesterday and we felt like our pressure could be bothersome. It kind of gives us a chance to create a little bit more tempo and things like that. Some teams you can’t do that against, but we felt like while that was a good team, once we got it out of #2’s (Kyson Rawls) hands, the decision making and the ball handling was a little questionable.”

“You know, this (tournament) is great for us. Pretty close to home, we’re familiar with the area, only being from Baltimore. The Rehoboth area, the hospitality, the people were really nice. This facility is awesome for a high school tournament, and they treat you great. This is the first time they’ve had it in a while, and we’re glad to be here and we’ll definitely consider coming back for sure.”

St. Georges Head Coach Rod Griffin

We had a great first quarter. The second quarter was good but we didn’t play as well as the first quarter, and it still was only a two-point game at halftime. I think we let them off the hook in that first quarter. We were up 17-10 and I subbed, tried to rest the guys for about a minute, and they scored three quick baskets, and I think that turned the tide and the momentum in their favor. But it’s a lesson learned and we try to get guys an opportunity to play on the big stage and get some experience. But we’ll learn from this and try to get better.”

Haverford Head Coach Henry Fairfax

“Absolutely, [Reddish] is special,” said Haverford head coach Henry Fairfax. “He’s a prodigious talent and a great kid, first and foremost, a solid student and an outstanding athlete and that’s something we are really proud of at Haverford School. We’re excited to have him for another couple of years.”

Roselle Catholic Head Coach Dave Boff

“More of an effort thing and a concentration thing. We didn’t guard them in the first half the way we had talked about in pregame, and then we went over it again at halftime and played better in the second half.”

We treat this the same as if we were at home. Try to leave the gym better than when we walked in, and I think today we probably did that. At halftime I would say that we didn’t but by the end of the game I would say that we were better than when we walked in.”

You’ve got to have some fun, man. I mean its high school basketball and when push comes to shove these are kids playing a game and it’s supposed to be fun. At the level we’re at, sometimes the fun gets sucked out of it by a bunch of things, and when they have the opportunity to enjoy themselves and be kids, I hope that they do that and I expect them to have fun.

Saints Neumann And Goretti Head Coach Carl Arrigale

“The second quarter was really, really good. I mean, you know, we really imposed our will on them a little bit. We kind of slept walked through the second half, but that happens a lot of times when you build a

big lead up at halftime. I wish we could have got everyone in the game and stuff like that, but you know, I mean hopefully you learn a lesson from it and you can get better. Last time, we had a big halftime lead, we pushed it up, and you know, everyone was able to get in the game, so I don’t know if they expected it to happen, but this team is a little better than the last team, so give them credit.

“We’re a big transition team. We work on it a lot. I mean, our hope is to get as many easy ones as we can, and then we walk into some of those transition-threes, and they’re the ones that separate you most of the time. We hit a couple of those tonight which I was really happy to see.”

Sanford Head Coach Stan Waterman

“I don’t know if I’ve seen them play as well as they played today. Of course, we didn’t do a whole lot to help ourselves, they just beat us up and down the floor, and in the first half it was just a bunch of layups. We got off to a great start in the first quarter and I thought we were ready to play. Then in that second quarter they got a lot of easy baskets, transition baskets, and that was the difference in the game.”

“I’m sure if I go back and look at the film we’ll find something [positive]. I can’t think of much off the top of my head though. We didn’t play well at all. I think they did a really nice job, they just outplayed us in almost every facet of the game today.”

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