#1 John Carroll stifles St. Goretti 53-26
John Carroll came into this game ranked #2 in the Baltimore Metro Area, with 18-1 record, only loss coming against McDonough. St. Maria Goretti comes in at 13-4, with losses to John Carroll, St. Frances, Mt. St. Joe, and Calvert Hall. Both schools have D-1 prospects on the squad, Carroll with Kimbal Mackenzie and Ameka Akaya of Goretti, who is uncommitted.
In the first quarter, Carroll got off to an early start, ending the quarter with a 13-4 lead. Goretti managed to score right before the buzzer, which I thought would give them some momentum, but I thought wrong.
In their first matchup on December third, Goretti only suffered a 6 point loss, 53-59, but Goretti never could weather the storm this game. In the first minute of the 2nd quarter, Michael Tertse, the big fella for the JC, put down a monster two hand slam. From that point on, momentum was on JC side for the rest of the game.
Goretti would come through with a tough AND-1 to cut it to eight but they really struggled to score. They had good looks at times, but as the game went on, JC's defense was just too much. Big Fella Tertse was like a standing tree in the in the middle paint. When your big man can give you great defensive possessions, while staying out of foul trouble, it's going be a great night.
I would like to see Akaya again. He has highlight ability, just never had an opportunity to showcase them. Another reason why you have to credit the Patriots for their defense. Kimbal and other guard Elijah Long, who will attend Florida Gulf Coast, played phenomenal in the backcourt. I have a few more schools I have to see play but, these two together might be the best backcourt in the state. Both can score very well, have exceptional handles, and plays good defense, but each have their own style.
Second half is when these two really shined. JC's stifling defense caused 4 Goretti turnovers in the first 4 minutes of the 3rd quarter, which created an 11-2 run in their favor. Kimbal & Elijah played a big part on the run, on both ends of the floor, along with Tertse in the middle. By time the third quarter was over, Goretti had 6 TOs and was down 45-21. Combined, Kimbal & Elijah went for 27 points, 14 of them coming in the third quarter.
This is a very good team and I can see why The Sun ranked them number 2 in the area. They have a great big 3, with a ton of role players and they play defense. The one thing I do like about this team is chemistry, which I credit to coach Martin Anthony. In their final four games of the season, they will face McDonough, St. Frances, Mt. St Joe, Calvert Hall, and Archbishop Spaulding. I'm very excited to see how this team finishes that stretch.