DANVERS — It was a great matchup between two of the top teams in Division 1 North last night in Danvers. But in the end, Catholic Memorial had too many weapons for St. John’s Prep to handle.
The visiting Knights went home with a 76-64 victory before a large crowd and clinched the Catholic Conference title. They put on a show with their run-and-gun offense, driving to the basket and canning the outside shots. The Eagles fought hard to answer at the other end, but each time they cut the deficit down Catholic Memorial stormed back.
“Spotting them a 10-point lead in the first four minutes of the game didn’t help,” said Prep coach John Dullea, his team now 11-3. “They got it to 12 and we were constantly playing catch up the rest of the way. Every time we tried to cut into their lead they’d go on a run. That’s Catholic Memorial for you; they go on those big runs every game. I’ve seen them put together 12 or 14 points in a row to build up big leads on teams.
“They are well-coached, very disciplined and very skilled. We talked about taking care of the basketball and stopping their transition game. At times I thought we did take care of the ball and work on the transition game. The effort was certainly there, but there are things we could have done better. They’re so tough; they’ll give you a basket and two or three seconds later get it right back.”
Senior Max Burt, who led the Eagles with 16 points, and Jake Burt (14 points) kept the Prep in the game and cut their team’s deficit to six at the end of the first quarter, 21-15.
But the Knights (14-1) of West Roxbury have a bunch of sharpshooters and saw four players hit double figures last night, including Brandon Twitty (17), Guillien Smith (16), 6-foot-8 center Gerard Adams (14), and Aamahne Santos (13 points, 11 rebounds).