Bishop Loughlin’s game plan was simple, but they weren’t following it for most of the first half.
Lions coach Ed Gonzalez told his team not to give Iona Prep sharpshooter Matt Ryan room to get his shot off. Early on the sophomore was knocking down shots from all over the court. The Gaels led by one with 2:00 left in the second quarter, much to Gonzalez’s displeasure.
“Those were too easy,” he said. “When you got a guy who can shoot the crap out of the ball, there is no way you don’t know where he is on the court at all times.”
His players finally found him and did what was asked. Loughlin went on to dominate the rest of a 72–59 win over Iona Prep in the Catholic Class AA boys basketball quarterfinals at Fordham University on Sunday.
Loughlin (19–6) ended the second quarter on a 9–0 run and continued to out-score the Gaels 27–4 to grab a 52–33 lead with 2:00 left to play in the third quarter. It got a hand out at every shooter and sped up play. The Lions then turned Iona (14–14) misses into transition hoops.
“We had to take them out of their game and make them drive,” Williams said. “Once we did that the lead just grew and grew.”
Lions guard Mike Williams scored 23 points, including three 3-pointers, and Khadeen Carrington had 21. Ryan ended up with 26 points and Brandon Williams added 11 for Iona.
Loughlin advanced to the semifinal on Thursday at Fordham where it faced Archbishop Stepinac, which upset Archdiocesan champion St. Raymond in another quarterfinal. The Lions players aren’t satisfied with making it that far. They want to bring home the school’s first title since 1992.
“This is our year,” Williams said. “Nobody is going to stop us.”Reach reporter Joseph Staszewski at jstaszewsk