BROCKTON, Mass. -– Catholic Memorial came within a few breaths of upsetting No. 17 Brockton, but the Boxers were able to outlast the Knights, pulling out a 96-84 overtime victory. Freshman guard Jonathan Joseph, despite catching a leg cramp during the extra minutes, scored seven of his seventeen points during the overtime.
“There’s a lot of pressure in OT, coach is depending on you,” said Joseph. “He believed in me. He put the ball in my hands and I did well with the rock.”
“Jonathan’s a scorer,” said Brockton coach Bob Boen. “He’s a very cool kid for a freshman; he was not bothered by the pace of the game.”
Brockton (11-4) won both the opening tip-off and the overtime tip-off. The first three points in overtime came from junior center Sayvonn Houston (10 points, 12 rebounds, three blocks). He made one free throw, and on the back end of a Joseph steal, he grabbed the rebound on the missed shot and put it back in.
“I knew that this was going to be a tough game, CM is a really good team,” Houston said. “Matt [Droney, 20 points], Dan [Powers, 39 points] are really great shooters and I had to get rebounds and blocks as much as possible.”
Jahleel Moise scored the next three points, dunking on a CM defender, scoring the bucket, and making the free throw on to complete the three point play, putting Brockton up 83-77 with 3:13 left in the game.
With three pointers from Jamal Reuben and Joseph thereafter, and Jonathan adding two free throws and a layup, the icing on the cake was Moise’s block and outlet pass to senior captain Shane Smith, who finished the scoring for the game.
“On this team, I’m the real defensive person,” said Moise, who had four steals and five rebounds to go along with his 12 points. “Everything is all about defense.”
The Knights (10-6) led by three at the end of the first quarter, but Brockton outscored them 29-11 in the second quarter, going up 46-13 at the half, with 16 of those points coming from seniors Tevin Leonidas and Carl Joseph.
Carl Joseph drained two three-pointers (four for the game) in the quarter and two field goals, on his way to a 20-point outing, while Carl Joseph ended the quarter with two treys of his own.
“Coach [Boen] always tells us when we’re on the bench that we always have to be ready to get in the game at anytime,” said the 6-foot-5 junior. “I focused on when I get in the game, I’m going to handle my business and do what I’ve got to do, so it’s pretty natural. Got good passes from my teammates, and I put it up, followed through and made the baskets.
At halftime, CM head coach Denis Tobin told his team that he wasn’t happy with the play, so they came out in the second half and closed the lead down to seven at the end of the third and tied it up at the end of regulation.
Draining three-pointers that may have been “four feet” behind the three point line, according to Boen, Powers scored 23 of his 39 points in the third and fourth quarter, including the one that tied the game at 77 with 1:31 left in regulation. In overtime, he was only able to produce a pair of one-and-one free throws and a layup at 1:13, with the other three points coming on free throws from Droney (20 points).
With 2.4 seconds left after a Brockton turnover, Droney took a deep three, but the ball went in and out of the rim.
“We spent all of our energy in the comeback,” Tobin said. “When that last shot didn’t fall, I don’t think we had anything left in the gas tank for the overtime.”
SHORT IN STATURE, LONG ON WILL
Being the sole freshman and shortest guy on the varsity roster at 5-foot-8, Joseph feels that there is a strong bond between all of his teammates that gives them the strength to pull up against a highly skilled team like Catholic Memorial.
“At first, we were strangers, now we’re a family,” added Joseph. “I believe in each and every one of these dudes.”