DeMatha 79, Bishop O’Connell (Va.) 76
Led by the supreme efforts of Ryan Allen (game-high 26 points), DJ Harvey (20 points) and Josh McCrae (12 points), the Stags took one more step toward gaining another WCAC championship in the nail-biting victory over Bishop O’Connell.
O’Connell was lead by Xavier Johnson (16 points), as well as Matt Lewis and Nate Watson, whom had 15 points apiece.
DeMatha led by as many as 13 points in second quarter behind huge offensive outbursts by Harvey (11 points in the second quarter) and Allen (nine points in the second quarter). However, O’Connell didn’t welter under pressure.
They fought back to tie the game three times (49-49, 61-61, and 66-66). O’Connell took the lead 61-59 when Matt Becht hit a 3-pointer at the left wing, and would lead twice more — 63-61 off of a Watson layup and 67-66 off a free throw by Lewis.
Allen put the game out of reach with back-to-back 3-pointers late in the fourth quarter. He hit his first clutch 3-pointer with under 1:30 to go in the fourth to make it 74-69 and the second came with 32 seconds and one second on the shot clock to make it 77-70.
“Just let it go, let it fly,” Allen said with a smile, ” The shot clock was running down, I felt like I was open so I just let it go.”
Gonzaga (D.C.) 62, Bishop Ireton (Va.) 47
In the second game of quarterfinal action, Gonzaga took on Bishop Ireton. The last time these two teams faced one another in the playoffs, Ireton came with the upset against Gonzaga. This time was different as Gonzaga handled its business winning by 15.
Chris Lykes scored 14 points, and Prentiss Hubb and Eddie Scott scored 12 apiece to help with the victory. For Ireton, Ethan Lynch and Darius Hinds had 13 points.
Although it was never in limbo, the Purple Eagles didn’t make it easy for themselves on the offensive side.
“We got some stuff we gotta clean up,” Gonzaga coach Steve Turner said. “I thought defensively we were pretty good. Offensively we weren’t at our best, and if we want to be able to have a chance to get to Monday we gotta clean up some things offensively.”
Lazy passing and ill-advised decision making hampered Gonzaga to impose its will.
Ireton kept it close early, holding a 7-5 lead in the first quarter, but that was the last time they led before Gonzaga closed out the quarter on a 6-2 run to make the score 11-9.
In the third quarter, Ireton got to as close as 34-33 after a pair of free throws by Ethan Lynch, but that was as close they got down the stretch. Lykes hit a stepback jumper to end the third quarter to make it 36-33 going into the fourth period. In the final frame, Gonzaga put the clamps down and outscored the Cardinals 26-14 in the final eight minutes.
Paul VI (Va.) 70, Bishop McNamara 56
The third game featured Paul VI and Bishop McNamara. Though coming in as the heavy underdog, McNamara gave the No. 1 seed a run.
McNamara led 16-12 at the end of the first quarter. In the second quarter, the Mustangs led 23-12 with 6:44 left until half, but PVI weathered the storm to bring it to 29-25 at the end of the first half, still in favor of McNamara.
PVI took control of the game by the end of the third quarter with a 45-43 lead heading into the final act. PVI then hung on and relied on its defense to eke out the 14-point victory.
St. John’s (D.C.) 64, St. Mary’s Ryken 54
In the finale of the evening, St. John’s College took on St. Mary’s Ryken. The Cadets came out victorious 64-54 against the resurgent Knights.
St. John’s relied on the double-digit scoring of Emanuel Hylton (19), Casey Morsell (12), Reese Mona (11) and Tre Wood(10). Meanwhile, Mekhi Long (16 points), Wynston Tabbs (15) and Chris Greene (11) paced St. Mary’s Ryken.
Up next: 2 Gonzaga vs. 3 St. John’s and 1 Paul VI vs. 4 DeMatha