For the second consecutive night Catholic’s Pat Ryan blitzed the opponent with 3-point shots. He knocked down a handful against ACA Friday night and ramped up his long range production against MA Saturday night in the Knights 46-42 win. Ryan nailed a half-dozen shots from 3-point land against the Eagles and started the game by making the first 3 he attempted. “Pat has been getting us going. Not just with those shots but by escalating the energy on defense,” Catholic coach Mike Curry said. When asked if Ryan’s 3-point prowess would be part of the Knights’ strategy the rest of the season, Curry simply said, “Yes.”
The Knights wanted to even the score with the Eagles after MA defeated them earlier in the year 43-42. Catholic has steadily improved since then. The key word to describe Catholic is energy. “We have been trying to come out with a lot of energy in every game. We did tonight. We want to do that and add as much excitement as possible,” Catholic guard D.J. Carter said. “And tonight we had an additional incentive. We wanted to get even with MA for the earlier loss.”
For Catholic, Ryan led all scorers with 22 points. Carter collected 7 points. Darian Riley had 7 points and 11 rebounds. Jalen Fountain grabbed 9 rebounds.
After the early blitz by the Knights MA came back and made it a close contest. The Knights led at halftime 24-20. MA even got the lead at one point in the second half. But the Eagles failed to get the rebounds they needed as Catholic controlled the boards. “Rebounding is a ‘want-to’ thing and we rebounded well tonight. We always stress that everyone has got to rebound. You never rebound enough,” Carter said. MA coach Jeremy Arant acknowledged the rebounding disparity as a big difference in the outcome. “They hurt us on the glass. They just beat us up on the boards and that gave them a big advantage,” Arant said.
“We played good enough to win. We were not as sharp as we needed to be tonight and MA executes well,” Curry said. “You know by this time of year you’ve already played each other and you have seen each other play other teams in tournaments. You get to know what to expect and that makes these games around town tough.”
“They are a very good defensive team. They play five guys that can guard every position. Unless you can create a play it is hard to score on them,” Arant said of the opponent.
William Norrell led MA with 10 points. Ollie Bear contributed 9 points and Trey Lindsey tallied 6 points and 7 assists.
Catholic now stands at 7-8 and MA holds a 7-11 record.