BABC: No. 15 BC High 73, No. 3 Lynn English 62

BOSTON -- No. 15 Boston College High rebounded from its 23-point loss to No. 7 Catholic Memorial in a big way Monday, with a 73-62 win over No. 3 Lynn English at the BABC Winter Classic.

Most striking was BC High’s ability to beat English at its own game of pressure defense and transition baskets.

“That’s the way we want to play all year,” said BC High coach Bill Loughnane. “Some days we’re pretty good at it. Other days, we leave points on the floor. I thought tonight we did a pretty good job. We just tried to beat them long. We knew they were quick and would go for steals, so we just wanted to try to make them pay on the offensive end.”

Coming off made baskets, BC High (6-3) set up in a 2-3 zone and it gave English fits. When they got a shot off in the post, it was often contested. If they missed a shot, BC High’s bigs were there to get the rebound and start the ball back up the floor. When any team has an inconsistent shooting night, it makes a zone defense look that much more effective. Lynn English learned that first hand Monday.

“They dictated tempo, they dictated what we were doing, and we’re just not a very good basketball team when that happens,” said Lynn English (8-2) coach Mike Carr. “They slowed us down and that got us out of getting into our sets. Offensively, everything was just slow and that’s not us.”

Zac Bailey, Phil Leotsakos, and Steve Young finished with 29 combined rebounds for the Eagles.

“We need that type of board play,” said Loughnane. “We’re running out sometimes out of control and all over the place. Sometimes you get that two-on-one rebound on the offensive glass. They did a great job of battling tonight.”

While it was a six-point game to start the fourth quarter, the lead quickly jumped to double-digits minutes later. BC High’s guards began jumping English’s cross-court passes in the backcourt, which lead to extra possessions. Sophomore Jack Loughnane came up big for the Eagles with three steals of English’s guards in the last quarter to help cushion his team’s lead. He finished the game with 16 points and five steals.

BC High, as a team, had 14 steals in the game.

Isaiah Bowman added 17 points off the bench, including two free throws down the stretch to maintain a comfortable lead. He and Loughnane were both on the floor together down the stretch.

“We expect this out of them, they’re varsity basketball players,” said coach Loughnane. “They know the type of schedule we’re going to play, one good team after another. They have to step up. We demand a lot from them. They demand a lot from themselves. Tonight we just saw the little benefits of all their hard work.”

Eric Rosario lead the way for Lynn English with 17 points and eight rebounds.

Need to re-focus: Following Monday’s game, Carr questioned if his team’s focus was in the right place. It was the second loss in as many games also, after losing to Salem 74-69 Wednesday.

“For whatever reason, our heads weren’t here today,” he said. “Defensively, we’re usually up in your face, turning people over, making them play our style. Today, we just weren’t. We were soft. No discredit to them [BC High]. I thought they were well-prepared and they executed and they beat our pressure but our pressure was soft.”

“This is two in a row now. We just lost to a pretty good Salem team. Today was a disappointment, but it was what they did as well. They took us out of some things we like to do.