Senior post, Joseph Clinch, scored a game-high 27 points and junior Mark Mayfield chipped in 18 points as the No. 4 state-ranked St. Pat’s Irish dominated Anselmo-Merna from the start in a 79-47 win on Tuesday at McGahan Activities Center.
The Lady Irish jumped out to an 18-2 opening quarter lead against the Lady Coyotes, and continued to put the pressure on as they won 63-16.
The Irish (14-2) continually found success inside early against Anselmo-Merna (7-7), as Clinch and Mayfield scored 11 and nine points respectively against the Coyotes in the first quarter.
“Our big guys — those two and Alex Harms are all pretty good around the basket and they did a nice job again tonight,” said St. Pat’s coach William O’Malley. “A real advantage is the fact they all run the floor pretty well. I thought they did a nice job of battling inside.”
Clinch began the scoring parade by putting back his own rebound for two and then Mayfield took a steal coast-to-coast, scored three the old-fashioned way on a drive and finished with two from the line for a 9-0 Irish lead.
Anselmo-Merna’s Trent Geiser broke the Coyotes scoring drought with two in the paint with 6 minutes, 29 seconds to go in the first quarter. Geiser along with teammate Kylen Thompson led the Coyotes with nine points each.
The teams traded baskets until the Irish finished the quarter with a seven-point run during the final two and a half minutes.
Clinch contributed the first five points in the paint with one coming from the line. Harms ended the quarter with a put back of an offensive board.
“I thought the kids did a good job of running out and being aggressive and looking for easy opportunities,” O’Malley said. “I thought there was a time when we got a few easy baskets.
“You can fall into the mentality that they are all going to be easy. We probably forced it a few times and then I thought we regrouped and did a better job.”
St. Pat’s had a 21-12 scoring advantage in the second quarter, as the Irish led 47-24 at half.
Coming off a conference championship in the SPVA tournament this past weekend, O’Malley was happy with his team’s performance.
“You’re always guarding about being flat, but I thought the kids were pretty sharp coming out,” said O’Malley. “We didn’t play perfect, but I thought we had good energy and we overcame some of the pitfalls you have coming off of a conference tournament.”
Anselmo-Merna coach Brent Myers said the Irish ball movement was difficult for his team to contend with.
“They just moved the ball quicker than we could handle,” Myers said. “There’s a reason why they’re 14-2 in C2, but it was a good test for our kids — lets us see what we need to improve on.”
O’Malley freely went to his bench throughout the game and emptied his bench with over four minutes to go in the game.
“We got meaningful contributions from a lot of guys,” O’Malley said. “In addition to that, the fact we had two in double figures, is an indication we were able to get a lot done around the basket. Those guys are good finishers so we were able to go to them repeatedly.”
Although trailing throughout the contest, Myers felt his team kept playing hard.
“We’re always pleased with the effort — our kids usually don’t quit,” Myers said. “Their pace got to us and usually our pace gets to people. That just shows us we need to condition more.
“I was pleased with the effort. We did a good job of keeping with them. We held with them the second half.
“When you get down big at halftime, it’s tough to comeback on a good team. They get their props — they deserved to win it. They play good ball.”
St. Pat’s (14-2).........................26 21 16 16 — 79
Anselmo-Merna (7-7)............................12 12 13 10 — 47
SP stats: (2 pt, 3 pt, ft, pts) Bryce Byrn 0, 1, 2/2, 5; Jacob Cook 1, 0, 0/0, 2; Joseph O’Malley 0, 2, 0/2, 2; Andrew O’Neill 4, 0, 0/0, 8; Brandon Niesen 1, 1, 0/0, 5; Joseph Clinch 11, 0, 5/5, 27; Alex Harms 3, 0, 0/0, 6; Mark Mayfield 7, 0, 4/4, 18; Seth Lynes 1, 0, 0/0, 2.
AM stats: Trent Geiser 3, 0, 3/4, 9; Dusty Chandler 2, 0, 2/2, 6; Ryan Halouska 2, 0, 0/0, 4; Kylen Thompson 4, 0, 1/2, 9; Troy Gilligan 2, 0, 3/4, 7; Trey Gilligan 2, 0, 1/1, 5; Tyler McGown 2, 1, 0/2, 7.
* * *
Lady Irish throttle Anselmo-Merna
The Lady Irish bounced back from a disappointing loss to Hershey in the finals of the SPVA Tournament as they had little trouble with the Lady Coyotes of Anselmo-Merna.
Four girls reached double figures for St. Pat’s with Anna O’Malley leading the way with 13 points, followed by Sam Byrn with 11 and Brook Boucher and Toni Caudillo with 10 points each.
St. Pat’s (15-2) used pressure defense and a transition offense to take a 14-0 lead just five minutes into the game. Byrn scored off the tip and the Lady Irish points just continued to mount.
Shelby Allberry took an inbounds pass and scored, and then Byrn grabbed a rebound and put it back, was fouled and hit the free throw for the 3-point play.
Allberry hit one of two free throws. Bryn scored on another offensive put back while Allberry grabbed an offensive board and scored, and Brook Boucher hit from 15 feet to end the run.
“We had a lot of energy out tonight, especially at the defensive end,” said St. Pat’s coach Nathan Stienike. “Early on our defensive pressure led to some layups. It was nice to see our shooters get back on track too.
“It’s always nice to jump on a team early, then we kind of cruised from there. Our pressure defense really leads to our offense.
“When we’re pressing well, we’re always good on the offensive end.”
The Lady Irish continued to put the pressure on Anselmo-Merna (1-14), outscoring the Lady Coyotes 19-5 in the second quarter, 15-1 in he third and 11-8 in the fourth quarter.
The St. Pat’s starters got plenty of rest on the bench, as the underclassmen received quite a bit of court time.
“It’s always nice to get those younger kids in,” Stienike said. “They didn’t play a lot this weekend, so it’s good they got in.
“I also thought our ball movement was good tonight. We distributed it well and found the open girl. We were a little more patient than what we have been in the past.”
Both St. Pat’s squads will host Maxwell on Thursday.
St. Pat’s (15-2)............................18 19 15 11 — 63
Anselmo-Merna (1-14).............................2 5 1 8 — 16
SP stats: (2 pt, 3 pt, ft, pts) Anna O’Malley 4, 1, 0/0, 13; Kari Slattery 1, 0, 0/0, 2; Sam Byrn 4, 0, 1/2, 11; Brook Boucher 2, 3, 0/0, 10; Toni Caudillo 3, 1, 0/0, 10; Shelby Allberry 2, 0, 2/4, 6; Bree Saner; Brittany Lawrence 2, 0, 0/0, 4; Erin Nozicka 3, 0, 1/1, 7.
AM stats: Kelsey Thompson 2, 1, 0/0, 9; Hannah Kirkpatrick 0, 0, 1/2, 1; Megan Max 1, 0, 0/0, 2; Ashley Markham 1, 0, 0/2, 2; Danielle Gibson 1, 0, 0/0, 2.