WEST ROXBURY, Mass. — The deciding game in the Catholic Conference in 2011-12 will be remembered for what happened between the two teams on the court as it will for what happened at the end of the third quarter off of it.
Dan Powers hit five 3-pointers and scored 28 points, while Matt Droney put home 23 as Catholic Memorial (13-2) tied up the season series with BC High (12-4) and won the league title with a 74-57 victory Friday night at Ronald S. Perry Gymnasium.
The two team teams played a bruising, physical game for the entire night, but that intensity between the two rivals took a turn when an altercation between two players turned into a bench clearing -- and fan clearing -- altercation at the end of the third quarter.
EMOTIONS RUN HIGH
It was almost as you could feel the tension building up between the two teams, and the two fan sections, as both teams were battling for every loose ball on every possession.
With less than 10 seconds remaining in the quarter, the Knights stopped the Eagles and quickly pushed the ball up the court. But behind the play, two players got into a shoving match and what went from a situation where the referees could have pulled the two players apart turned ugly as fans from both sides rushed the court towards the players.
It took coaches, officials and parents from the stands a couple of minutes to clear the court so the officials could make a final ruling on the court. When things settled, Chris Siggers from CM and Mike Corcoran from BC High were ejected from the contest, but were told to stay on the bench due to safety concerns.
“You want them to be as intense as they can on the court,” said Knights head coach Denis Tobin. “But you don’t want it to get that ugly.”
BC High head coach Bill Loughnane had the better view of things from the two coaches perspective, as the melee took place right near the Eagles bench and fan section.
“Two kids got mixed up, and in the heat of the battle that happens.,” he said. “They are both just banging around, and somebody comes out of the stands who thinks they belong there and then everyone thinks they should be involved...The unfortunate thing is someone coming out (from the stands). We didn’t need anyone out there. The kids and the referees could have taken care of it. There were no punches going to be thrown (between the players).”
DRONEY, KNIGHTS ON FIRE EARLY
Droney was honored before the game as the Knights’ star scored his 1,000th point earlier in the season. A ceremony, where he was handed the game ball with his grandfather, was put on during the game.
It was easy to see he was riding high in the first quarter. Droney scored the first eight points of the game for the Knights and finished with 13 in the first quarter. The Knights took a 24-13 at the end of one. After an 8-0 run by the Eagles, mostly on the foul shooting of Oderah Obukwelu, the Knights went on a 12-4 run to end the quarter.
EAGLES MOUNT COMEBACK
BC High was able to handle the Knights press fairly easily in the first half. Finishing once the Eagles got by that first layer of the press was a different issue.
The Eagles shot 23.5 percent (8-of-34) from the field and missed several lay-ups and shots from inside the paint.
But, in what was very similar to the first meeting between the two schools, the Eagles went on a run thanks to a tireless defensive effort and an awakening from Jameilen Jones, who struggled in the first half.
Jones scored nine points in the period and his banked in, straightaway 3-pointer gave the Eagles their first lead of the second half, 46-45, with 1:45 left in the third.
“It was almost like a repeat of the first game where we were up nine or 10 at the half,” said Tobin. “We came out and we settled for the first easy shot instead of making a couple extra passes and getting a better shot.”
POWERS, DRONEY FUEL FINISH
Jones tied things up at 54 with 5:45 let in the game, but the Knights would go on a 20-3 run to finish off the game. Droney scored six straight points to stretch the lead to eight with 4:00 left to go.
The Eagles missed a layup later in the fourth and the Knights quickly pushed the ball to Powers in shooting position and he drained a 3-pointer for a 68-57 lead with 1:40 left in the game. Powers would hit one more 3-pointer as he finished 5-for-14 from behind the arc on the night.
“I feel good for him,” said Tobin. “Our last two games against BC High he hasn’t shot the ball well. But he really stepped up tonight.”