Catholic Memorial clinched the Catholic Conference title Friday night with a 74-57 win over BC High, but what should be a story about how well the Knights, who have moved up to No. 1 in this week’s Top 20, have played this season has turned into one about what took place at the end of the third quarter.
With seconds remaining in the third period, of what had been a physical game at Ronald S. Perry Gymnasium in West Roxbury, two players got into a shoving match that quickly turned ugly as fans from both sides rushed the court.
There are differing reports on whether both benches cleared.
“There was no question that there was a scuffle between players,’’ said CM athletic director Alex Campea. “But both benches did not empty. If both benches had emptied it would have been an immediate ejection, so that didn’t happen.’’
It took several minutes before coaches, officials, and parents were able to clear the court and resume the game. When the dust settled, CM’s Chris Siggers and BC High’s Mike Corcoran were ejected for their part in the altercation. Both Siggers and Corcoran have received two-game suspensions.
“Did some of the people in the crowd become more active than they should have been? Absolutely,’’ said Campea. “But it didn’t last more than 3 or 4 minutes. Coaches [and] administrators took charge of the situation and everything was fine.’’
According to Campea, both teams shook hands after the game. “It was a high-intensity game with a huge crowd and a couple of kids got tangled up going for a loose ball. There was some pushing that ensued, but there were no punches thrown.
“Players in a very intense game, for the Catholic Conference championship, got tangled up going for a loose ball and in essence it got a little bit more active than it should have,’’ said Campea. “But it wasn’t as if two guys were there throwing haymakers at each other. That never happened.’’
Lost in all of this was the terrific performance turned in by Catholic Memorial’s Dan Powers, who connected on five 3-pointers, on his way to a game-high 28 points.
Matt Droney, who was honored prior to the game for scoring his 1,000th point earlier this season, responded by scoring the first 8 points of the contest for the Knights (13-2). Droney finished with 23 points.
With the game tied at 54 with 5:45 remaining, the Knights went on a 20-3 run to close the game and reclaim the conference championship. With the win the Knights improved to 7-1 in the conference and 12-3 overall, while the Eagles dropped to 6-2 and 12-4 overall.
No. 1 Central Catholic stunned
The No. 15 Red Raiders of Lowell shocked top-ranked Central Catholic, 62-56, on Friday. Corey Brown led the Raiders (12-3) with 16 points. Jonathan Perez added 13 points. Lowell, which has won nine of its last 10, took a 38-26 into the half and never looked back.
Central was led by Tyler Nelson (15 points) and Luis Puello (13).
“I’ve got a good group of kids with good attitudes and work ethic,’’ said Lowell coach Scott Boyle. “We’re a bit undersized for our league, but we have solid depth and we play hard.
“These kids have worked real hard,’’ added Boyle. “Not many teams go in there and get a win.’’
Lowell, which last beat Central Catholic in 2008, handed the Raiders (15-1) their first MVC loss in 53 games, and their first home loss in five years.
“They outplayed us from beginning to end,’’ said Central Catholic coach Rick Nault. “We didn’t play well, but that’s a credit to the way Lowell played on defense.
“Now my guys know that we are beatable and there are some things we need to work on,’’ he added. “If we don’t focus we could be looking at an early exit come tournament time.’’
“We’re a blue collar team,’’ said Boyle. “We have to show up for every game and play our best. It was a great win for us, but as I told my guys, it’s already in the past. We know we can play with anyone, but we also know if we’re not prepared we could also lose to anyone.’’
Eight is enough for Hockomock (Kelley-Rex)
Jake Layman’s 23 points and 17 rebounds helped No. 14 King Philip (12-3) become the third team in the Kelley-Rex division of the Hockomock to reach eight wins, as they defeated No. 13 Mansfield, 46-35, on Friday.
The Warriors (8-3) have three league losses, while Mansfield (8-2) and Franklin (8-2) have just two. Assuming Mansfield and Franklin take care of business, the league should come down to Feb. 14 when the Panthers travel to Mansfield.
“The top three teams in the league are really strong,’’ said Franklin coach Dean O’Connor, whose team last won the Hock title in 2009. “I’ve just been telling my team that the title is right in front of us. All we have to do is win out and we’ll be playing Stoughton for the Hock championship.’’
Madison Park enjoying gift from BSA
Earlier this week the Madison Park basketball program, as well as the programs at Charlestown, New Mission, South Boston, and Dorchester received “The Gun’’ basketball shooting machine from the Boston Scholar Athlete (BSA) program.
The machine, which looks like a large net, is designed the help athletes improve their jump shooting by capturing the shots and “shooting’’ them back out to the athlete, without them needing to chase down the rebound.
“It allows one person to get up a lot of shots,’’ said Madison Park coach Dennis Wilson. “It’s a real nice machine and we’re very pleased to have it. There are a lot of drills I’m planning on incorporating it into.’’
The No. 12 Cardinals, who lost a tough one to No. 8 East Boston Thursday, will have their shooting put to the test this Thursday when they take on No. 4 Stoughton in a non-conference matchup.
Games of the Week
No. 3 Central Catholic at No. 20 Lawrence, Tuesday at 7:30 - The No. 3 Raiders will look to bounce back after suffering their first MVC loss in 53 games to Lowell on Friday. Lawrence took Central Catholic to overtime before falling, 69-67, Jan. 14.
No. 9 New Mission at No. 7 Brighton, Wednesday at 6 - Brighton (12-1) got the best of the Titans (7-3), 60-58, Jan. 11, but with freshman Greg Bridges playing well the Titans will be out for revenge in this Boston City League showdown.
No. 8 East Boston at No. 18 St. John’s Prep, Thursday at 7 - At the beginning of the season this looked like one of the best games of the year. It’s lost some luster, but both teams have legitimate chances to make long runs come tournament time.
No. 4 Brockton at No. 1 Catholic Memorial, Friday at 7 - The newly top-ranked Knights (12-2) will take on the Big Three leading Boxers (10-1). The Knights are unbeaten in six contest at home this season.
No. 19 Westford Academy at No. 5 Acton-Boxboro, Friday at 7:30 - The Colonials’ (14-1) lone loss of the season came at the hands of Westford Academy Dec. 29. This game will decide the DCL Large.