Boys Basketball: Sacred Heart dominated from the start against Mitty

Sacred Heart senior forward Sean Murphy goes up for a contested shot against Mitty on Saturday at Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep. (Photo by Doug Ko)

By Bonta Hill

Sacred Heart Cathedral had a chance to cap off an impressive week with a win that would have catapulted them into a first-place tie in the West Athletic Catholic League.

But Archbishop Mitty had other ideas, and squelched Sacred Heart’s ideas on capturing the WCAL regular season championship on Saturday.

The visiting Monarchs dominated the Irish in a 56-40 win, and clinched at least a tie for the regular season title in the process.

Sacred Heart junior forward Taylor Johns has his layup blocked by Mitty sophomore Eric Gordon on Saturday at Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep. (Photo by Doug Ko)

Mitty’s standout sophomore Aaron Gordon made his presence felt early and often, as he controlled the key with 12 points, 13 rebounds, and five blocks before sitting out the fourth quarter when the Monarchs (20-2, 11-1) were up by as many as 26 points.

“You always have to have a post presence and just try to dominate the key, especially early in the game,” Gordon said. “I tried to take them out their game and just [tried] to do my thing.”

With both teams having played games the previous night, the game got off to a slow start, but the Irish seemed to be more impacted by the short turnaround.

Sacred Heart (16-5, 7-3) shot a paltry 21 percent in the first quarter and found themselves down 14-6 after the first frame. The Irish finished the game shooting for 34 percent from the floor.

“You saw two tired teams with a three-game week, but our guys were able to make plays and make shots,” said Mitty head coach Tim Kennedy. “Sacred Heart struggled making shots and we were able to push the lead.”

The Irish would get a spark from their bench though, and went on a 7-0 run to cut the lead to 16-13 midway through the second quarter.

But Mitty showed why they are considered the WCAL’s elite, and the Monarchs would score the next six points to go up 22-13.

In the eyes of Sacred Heart head coach Darrell Barbour, one sequence changed the entire game, and visibly took a toll on the Irish for the rest of the night.

Sacred Heart’s Taylor Johns had three shots blocked by Gordon – all on the same possession – and Mitty was in complete control from that point.

“When Gordon made those plays, our guy’s body language changed,” Barbour said. “It changed the whole complex of the game.”

Mitty guard Kyle Toth hit a three at the halftime buzzer, and the Monarchs scored six straight points to open the second half as they shot out to a 15-point lead, shutting down any hopes for an Irish victory.

“I believe it was all mental. I looked at my team in the first half, at the lack of energy and how lethargic they were,” Barbour said. “I believe my team doesn’t believe they can beat Mitty, and I asked them that at halftime. They said they did believe they can beat them, but actions speak louder than words.”

The Irish might have a chance to redeem themselves in the WCAL playoffs, but they’ll probably need to get by Serra and their arch-rival St. Ignatius, which won’t be easy.

Even though Mitty has one of the top teams in the state, Barbour was utterly disappointed with his team’s efforts in a game with league-championship implications.

“We didn’t play with much emotion, nor did we compete. That to me, is the most discouraging part,” Barbour said. “Give Mitty all the credit, but our lack of competitiveness is something that really bothered me.”

Scoring Leaders

Mitty
Aaron Gordon – 12
Kyle Toth – 11
Connor Gorman – 10
Three players tied with 6 points

Sacred Heart Cathedral
Taylor Johns – 9
Joshua Fox – 9
Carlos Santos – 6
Khalil James – 5
Yanoj Jackson – 5

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24 Comments

  1. IC Stars says:

    Barbour could have at least kept Josh Fox playing. Other than that, you know what the Irish need.

  2. Johnny Drama says:

    @Ari…Not sure what’s more upsetting for you,this whoopin’ or losing the NFL team over a scandal and your pending divorce?

    The CATS are still the only team to BEAT the Mighty Monarchs! To be brutally honest, I was pleasantly surprised when they did it. They exploited Gordons’ only visible weakness, free throw shooting. Aguilar muscled him and wouldn’t let him shoot and the result was several missed free throws. If Gordon made 60% of his FT’s, they would be undefeated. The Cats also played him strait up and never left the shooters. Quite frankly, SHC has nobody capable of playing him strait up, hence several open shots. Mitty is too good a team to give open looks to. The reason SHC wins is they usually have an advantage on the inside as their guards are very average and one dimensional. When we won the BM, our bigs did a decent job on theirs and our guards/wings outperformed theirs. When they beat us last week, their bigs’ significantly outperformed ours. The only team that SHC’s bigs are at a disadvantage against is Mitty. Mitty’s bigs (excluding Gordon) are comparable to Johns’ and Fox, if you factor in Gordon, it’s not even close. Fox is the more complete player of the 2 and Johns’ is more of an athlete than a “baller” but Gordon is a flat out ball player. There is nobody in the WCAL that is even close to his talent at this stage. He was in the heads of SHC’s bigs since the alley-oop from half court in their last meeting. They still haven’t shaken it, in fact, they are probably more psyched out after last night. He sat the 4th Q and still dominated. All in all, it was what I expected would happen. I can’t see anybody beating them in WCAL from this point forward.

  3. jordan24 says:

    surprised shc didn’t have a full house for this key showdown match. is it just the bruce-mahoney games they show up.?

  4. brian phillips says:

    there gym might be more boring that valley’s gym…quiet and just dull

  5. IC Stars says:

    It’s not the gym, Brian, it’s the crowd. Hardly any students show-up anymore. Let’s get that cheering section back.

  6. Roll Cats says:

    The Cats filled the gym against Mitty this year and look what happened. Home court advantage is something to be reckoned with and SI’s crowd of more than just Bruce fans have propelled them to a great home record this year. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for SH

  7. IC Stars says:

    Yes, Roll, it does get quiet in that nice big gym. Even during state title runs there’s barely an applause after a great play.

  8. City High says:

    To my recollection, SI was not “packed” for that Mitty game. There were a slew of empty seats. The student section was vocal, but the attendance was similar to the SHC-Mitty game.

  9. Ari Gold says:

    @Drama … Sadly I couldnt see the Aaron Gordon show. This guy is the best player in the league and hes only a sophmore. He has by far the best Division I potential. Although I see way too much of his older brother in him. Drew and Aaron, both tall, dominated shorter players. In high school, big men dont have back to the basket skills. They just are either taller or can jump higher than their competition. Thats basically the Gordon’s. Its not a surprise Mitty can do what do to SH. SH’s tallest player is only 6’4. Thankfully SH wont have to deal with Mitty when CCS/NCS begins. We’ll only have to play big, slow, stiffs like SI. No one remembers the regular season Drama. What do you want for your win vs Mitty? I give you a thumbs up thats about it. Show me your CCS/NCS/State titles and I will kiss your butt. Until then, you guys cant hold a candle to SH and our titles.

    BTW, the most complete player Ive ever seen in the WCAL was Senque Carey from St. Francis. As a freshmen played power forward center, then by senior year he was playing PG and just dominated everywhere from scoring, rebounding, passing. He was unstoppable.

  10. Johnny Drama says:

    @Ari…The little Gordon is much better than his bro and a more complete player. Actually, big bro is doing much better now that he is at New Mexico.

    Can’t hold a candle? Go to WCAL Website:

    http://www.wcalsports.org/Records%20Brochure/2008-09%20Records/W.C.A.L.%20Records%202008-09%20Championships%20Men.pdf

    These are the Mens’ Championships and the total is 51-7…SI. It only goes thru 2008 and SHC has won 1 league title in hoops which they shared I believe with SF. Granted, they’ve won CCS and a State title recently, but the Cats’ also have a State title in our trophy case. If you’re looking at the wins in the last 3 years, you may have an edge but click on the link and you will see who has been the superior school over the long haul, which is what truly matters.

    http://www.cifccs.org/history/boys%20&%20girls%20champions-compilations.htm

    Above is the CCS link where the boys have a significant advantage as well. If you factor in the girls’, it’s closer, but SI still ahead.

    We have you by about 50 titles! You also have less than Riordan! Riordan hs more titles than you combined boys/girls. Without the ladies doing the heavy lifting, you’d really be in bad shape.

    So the million dollar question is…..now that I’ve shown you our titles, will you be a man of your word and kiss my butt?

  11. SI Cats says:

    Ari Gold- Carey was very good but I’d give the nod to Ali Thomas who played for SI back in ’97 who was the most complete player I’ve seen. He went on to USF and had a nice career with the Dons. Whatever happened to Carey??

  12. Ari Gold says:

    @ Drama…. That is just hilarious!!!! Soccer??? Cross Country? Track??? Tennis??? Step up to the plate big boy!!! Those are recreations. Not sports. Oh yah Lacrosse. HAHAHAHAHAHAH. Isnt the Lacrosse team masked as graffiti bandits whenever they tag up the bridge at the end of Sunset Blvd?

    Basketball championships??? Really? when they played with peach baskets? You love to hold on to your relics Drama. Just like that old broken down trophy. Hold on to that while SH goes for the real sports titles.

    No I wont be kissing your butt. But I can send over Lloyd. And he would love a nice butt kissing after you have your calf augmentation Drama.

  13. Ari Gold says:

    @ SI Cats… I saw both players play. Thomas was an outstanding offensive player. To call him complete is a stretch. He didnt rebound and he didnt pass. Carey did all three. He played PF as a freshman and that team won the D2 state title which beat perenial state power Dominguez. He transitioned over to PG his senior year and filled up the stat sheet on a nightly basis. His career was cut short by serious spinal injury. Got a scholarship to Tulsa, transferred to Washington, I think he ended up in New Mexico. Q was awesome to watch on both ends of the court. Thomas you can just turn your head away if SI was on defense.

  14. Ari Gold says:

    @ Drama…. Im giving SH too much credit. I apologize. After all I dubbed SH a women’s basketball school over any men’s accomplishments. When I speak about SH, the context is more predicated on the women’s success than the mens. My assistant Lloyd must have not given you the right information when boasting.

  15. Johnny Drama says:

    @Ari…. Since you went to SHC, I’ll count the football and basketball championships for you, 15-3 in favor of the Cats. I assume you count these two as BIG BOY SPORTS? When the girls win more often than the boys, no alum should be challenging other schools to step up to the plate.

    Ari, I hope you’re marriage doesn’t end up in ruin, but there’s a common lesson here. Sometimes it’s best to admit that you’re wrong, take the L, and move on!!

    I truly enjoy our playful banter…..kinda like the SI-SHC game in 2008!!!!

  16. Anonymous says:

    @Ari Gold. Our lacrosse team has been ranked number one on the west coast for a while now. Our cross country team made it to states this year. Our golf team is almost automatic. They can’t lose. Why take a shot at SI athletics as a whole? The student body as a whole produces more successful student athletes in every sport. Far more than the 12 or so guys on the basketball team.

  17. Cats pride says:

    Our soccer team is, and has been nationally ranked for the past two years, our crew team has won a world crown, both our boys and girls XC teams have made it to state the past like 10 years.

    Just adding to the list of SI athletics acheivements. And if you’re going to say no one cares about those sports no one cares at all about women’s sports so there goes your main point.

  18. Johnny Drama says:

    I’ve been moderated!!!!

  19. Ari Gold says:

    @ Drama…. playful yes, enjoyable yes… Mind you Im not a total SI hater. I appreciate some of the students that have donned the red white and blue. …. lets see, my favorite kicker, Joe Bordeaux. Gotta love high school kickers that can make 40+ yard FGs. Mike Waters! Who doesnt like a white guy who can jump. John Antonini, a guy who did all the dirty work, set picks, rebounded, hustle hustle hustle. Im going to pick Anthony Buich over Zac Lee. Buich just looked like a college QB with his size.

    Ok Drama, play nice now. Surely you can say something nice about any SH athletes over the years.

  20. Johnny Drama says:

    @Ari……like I mentioned erlier, Kevin Greene is a class act, loved everything about him. Competed hard and was a gentlmen off the court/field. LaRyan Russell was an amazing PG. Quick and a great passer. Played game the right way. I lived Phil Doherity. Hustle personified! Marty Arenas was a Baller back in the day as well.

    That was actually a bit therapeutic!

    See you down the road!

  21. IC Stars says:

    Ari Gold, you made my Irish day, but you have to count soccer since SHC beat Bellarmine 1-0.

  22. jordan24 says:

    gotta represent the crusaders in this thread. when did si win a state hoops title? they definitely had great runs during the drucker years with players like jeff thilgen, paul fortier, levi middlebrooks and david wilson. also had a good run during the lippi era with duggan. sh had some nice teams with arenas, white and later on with doherty and love. but all these teams don’t hold a candle to the riordan teams of the 70s-80s and early 90’s and early 2K. Brett Crawford, Terrence Mullins and Marquise Kately have to go down as some of the best hs players this area has seen. don’t get me started with ray kelly, erik newman, tony asaro, jerry ross, reggie jackson ,denfield wade, jaha wilson, john tofi, dwayne fontana and chris munk. oh did i mention riordan went undefeated in the wcal for 5 consecutive seasons! i think arhs stats can back me up on this. ahh just remembering the good times. been impressed with the support of the fans and families of this year’s edition of the hoops team. definitely struggling, but at least packing the house and showing support!

  23. nique says:

    Gotta represent the crusaders? How can you mention asaro and ross but not mention Al Lopez ?

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