Josh Verlin (@jmverlin)
It took less than one minute into Archbishop Carroll’s game at St. Joseph’s Prep for Harold Ivery Jr. to be whistled with his second foul. When the Patriots’ senior forward headed the bench, Francis Bowe’s first thought: oh, no.
Down their best offensive option, the Patriots knew they needed a top-notch defensive effort against the Hawks to survive the Catholic League opener. Ivery’s presence on the court against St. Joe’s imposing and talented young forward Tristan Guillouette was a crucial part of those plans.
“He just said relax, you’ll be fine, do the same thing,” Ivery said. “Just have to deal with it, no need to get mad.”
Carroll's Harold Ivery Jr. (left) helped keep Prep's Tristian Guillouette (right) in check. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
“Some kids [in early foul trouble], sometimes they’ll stop being aggressive,” Bowe said. “We said it is what it is, if you get fouled out — you have to play your game, otherwise they’re going to get really comfortable.”
Ivery got back in and played a big part in keeping Guillouette uncomfortable, and his teammates did the rest, holding the Prep to just 27 points through three quarters before cruising to a 53-43 win.
They did it without the services of sophomore Moses Hipps, the sophomore guard with a growing list of Division I offers, who suffered a concussion during a game in Wildwood last week.
“We knew they have a ton of scorers,” Ivery said. “and without Moses, our main scorer, we’re going to need to play a lot of defense.”
What was the key to shutting down the Hawks?
“Energy,” Ivery said. “A lot of energy.”
Ivery brought that, impacting the game without scoring a point. He finished with five steals, three blocks and four rebounds before fouling out with 4:19 left, doing a big part in holding Guillouette to nine points and seven rebounds.
Having that type of impact is all that matters to Ivery, who’s enjoying his last hoops season and his first as a full-time starter in the PCL. The 6-5, 215-pound post makes his greatest impact on the baseball diamond, where he’s a pitcher and first baseman.
Despite the COVID pandemic affecting all of his sophomore and much of his junior season, he made his college pick over the Christmas break, committing to D-II Mansfield University. Asked what he’ll be playing at the next level, Ivery didn’t hesitate.
“I like doing both,” he said. It’s just like basketball, I love playing. I didn’t score tonight, but I loved it.”
“I thought Harold staying out of foul trouble for the most part for the second half was key for us,” Bowe said. “He had to be in there in the third quarter when they were making some runs.”
The Patriots (8-1, 1-0 PCL) were otherwise able to limit the Hawk forward’s output by running and pressing as much as possible, which forced Prep coach Jason Harrigan to go with his own small-ball lineup. Guillouette didn’t attempt a shot in the second or third quarter, the combination of Ivery and Sal Monastero (six rebounds) holding him in check when he was on the court and the tempo ensuring that wasn’t for too long of a stretch.
The Hawks’ defense was equally strong through 16 minutes, the visitors only holding a 21-18 advantage at the break. But the Patriots’ shots started to fall in in the third quarter; 3-pointers from juniors Blake Deegan (8 points) and Khair Dixon (6 points) helped grow the lead to nine entering the fourth, and that’s when Jake West slammed the door shut.
Jake West (10) scored 10 of his game-high 16 points to help Carroll slam the door shut on St. Joe's Prep. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
The talented freshman guard scored 10 of his game-high 16 points in the final stanza, knocking down two 3-pointers, a runner and a mid-range jumper to help Carroll maintain its lead. West continually made strong reads against the St. Joe’s defense, not forcing any bad looks but taking open ones when presented thanks to strong ball movement by the whole Carroll side.
“He did some things in that fourth quarter that you go, should I bring it out, should we pull it out, maybe — and then you’re like good job, good job,” Bowe said.
“It’s just about taking the right shot,” said West, who shot 4-of-6 on 3-pointers on the day, all on clean looks. “You don’t have to force a bad shot, or force a contested shot. It’s when you want to get the good shot — not even a good shot, a great shot, you want to pass up a good shot for a great shot, and I think we did that well in the last couple minutes.”
St. Joe’s Prep (4-2), one of the youngest teams in the league, got 12 points and seven rebounds from sophomore Jalen Harper plus 11 points from freshman guard Olin Chamberlain.
Carroll, not much older but with a few experienced pieces, got 11 points, eight rebounds and four assists from junior guard Dean Coleman-Newsome, and eight points from senior Shawnn Smith.
Carroll’s hoping to have Hipps back by Thursday, when they host defending champs Archbishop Wood in another crucial Catholic League matchup. There’s no letup following that, with visits to Archbishop Ryan (Jan. 11) and Cardinal O’Hara (Jan. 14) scheduled after a trip to St. Vincent St. Mary (Ohio) on Jan. 9.
For now, that 1-0 start in the PCL feels good.
“It sets the tone for the rest of the season,” Ivery said. “We’re going to come out every game with energy. You saw tonight [...] when Moses is back on the court, it’s even more. You’ll see this Thursday.”
Archbishop Carroll: 9 | 12 | 15 | 17 || 53
St. Joe’s Prep: 10 | 8 | 9 | 16 || 43
Archbishop Carroll: 20-55 FG (10-29 3PT), 3-7 FT
St. Joe’s Prep: 19-45 FG (2-7 3PT), 3-9 FT
Archbishop Carroll: West 16, Coleman-Newsome 11, Smith 8, Deegan 8, Dixon 6, Rogers 4
St. Joe’s Prep: Harper 12, Chamberlain 11, Guillouette 9, Vargas 6, McKie 5