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Saturday, January 18, 2014
Recap: No. 7 CM 87, No. 15 BC High 64

By John Botelho

WEST ROXBURY, Mass. -- Midway through the third quarter of No. 7 Catholic Memorial’s 87-64 win over visiting No. 15 BC High, Knights sophomore Brandon Twitty slid out to the wing, took a pass and unleashed a high-arcing 3-pointer that snapped through the net as he was bumped to the ground.

The ensuing whistle signaled was heading to the free throw line for a chance at a 4-point play. Just about the only thing that went wrong for Twitty all night was the free throw rimming out, but even that ended up working in the Knights’ favor.

An offensive rebound allowed CM to set up their offense once more, and Twitty again shifted out to the wing, took a pass from the top of key and sent another crisp shot toward the hoop.

His second 3-pointer in less than 10 seconds put an end to a run that saw the surging Eagles close the gap to just five points. Twitty proved to be a thorn in the BC’s side all night long, as he came off the bench and netted a game-high 34 points, including hitting seven 3-pointers, to keep CM unbeaten in the Catholic Conference.

“He was in the zone, and that just happens sometimes,” said CM coach Denis Tobin. “I saw it last year when he was playing on the junior varsity and same thing this year. When he gets it going, he really gets it going. He doesn’t cool off once he heats up.”

Added Twitty: “We’re deep, tonight just happened to be my night. On any other night, it could be Kellan Grady or Matt Hanna, or Denis Tobin could be the guy hitting those shots.”

It’s something about BC High, though, that seems to bring out the best in Twitty, who netted 48 in a JV game against them as a freshman a year ago.

“We took the loss though,” remembered Twitty. “Tonight, coming out with 34 but getting the win, this feels a lot better.

In the early going, it looked like a different sophomore was going to be the hero of the night. Jack Loughnane poured in eight of his team-high 18 points in the first quarter for BC as the Eagles raced out to an early 10-point lead.

A pair of 3-pointers to close the first started to close the gap, and impressive defensive showing in the second allowed CM to head to halftime with a 38-31 lead.

“We didn’t adjust much,” Tobin said. “We basically said the pace of the game was where we wanted it. The idea is to wear teams. It’s very hard to play at the pace we play at for 32 minutes. In the first quarter their legs are still fresh, but in the third and fourth quarter, after they’ve been running for a while, it’s tougher to make those.”

That proved to be the case on Friday night, as the Eagles seemed to be worn out much of the second half, and despite the hot shooting to start the game, they finished just 25-for-70 from the floor in the loss.

“Their kids enjoy playing at that pace, we enjoy playing at that pace,” said Loughnane. “They’re just better at it right now than we are. We didn’t make them pay when we beat them on the press.”

The pace, coupled with Catholic Memorial’s torrid shooting in the second half, allowed the Knights to pull away and cruise to the easy win. With Twitty leading the way, the Knights knocked 13 3-pointers in all.

Guilien Smith joined him in double figures, notching 15 points, eight assists and five rebounds, while Gerard Adams chipped in nine points, 10 rebounds and three blocks. Aamahne Santos added nine points, eight rebounds and five assists, as CM remained unbeaten in league -- the last team that can claim that in the Catholic Conference.

“We still have a lot of work to do,” said Twitty. “We have three road games against Prep, BC and Malden Catholic, and it’s not going to be easy. In the Catholic Conference, nothing comes easy. It’s important to defend home court. This was a good win tonight.”