Boys Basketball: Domingo goes inside in St. Ignatius’ win over Riordan

St. Ignatius forward Stephen Domingo goes up for a jump shot, but did all of his damage in the paint against Riordan on Tuesday at Archbishop Riordan High School. (Photo by Doug Ko)

By Jeremy Balan

The most prevalent critique of St. Ignatius standout junior forward Stephen Domingo is that he plays on the wing too much and doesn’t use his 6-foot-7 frame enough inside.

That player didn’t show up on Tuesday night at Archbishop Riordan High School.

Riordan guard Anthony Castillo eyes the St. Ignatius defense on Tuesday at Archbishop Riordan High School. (Photo by Doug Ko)

Domingo scored all six of his field goals in the paint and unveiled a post game that amounted to a game-high 18 points and 11 rebounds in the Wildcats’ 40-27 win over Riordan in the West Catholic Athletic League opener for both teams.

“I don’t read message boards or any of that kind of stuff, but people tell me what the detractors say, that I can’t go inside,” Domingo said. “I know my game, I work on it every day and my coaches know what I can do. I know I can shoot the ball, but I have another dimension inside.”

The Crusaders (7-4, 0-1) pressured Domingo on the perimeter early on, but as the game progressed, he settled in the paint with his back to the basket and Riordan didn’t have an answer.

“He doesn’t want to lose, so he’s going to do whatever he needs to do to win games,” said St. Ignatius head coach Tim Reardon. “People can say whatever they want, but he’s going to do what it takes and he’s not bad at it either.”

No other St. Ignatius player scored in double figures, but it was seven key points in the fourth quarter from junior guard Terrance Roberts Jr. that put the game away.

After Riordan cut the St. Ignatius lead to 30-27 with 4:04 remaining, Roberts scored seven consecutive points in a 10-0 SI run to end the game.

In less than two minutes, Roberts scored in the paint, hit a 3-pointer, and dropped in a fast-break layup to put the Wildcats up 37-27 in the blink of an eye.

“They were smart points, and I told him the 3-pointer was the easiest,” Reardon said. “The others required a lot of thinking and keeping his cool. He won it for us.”

The St. Ignatius (7-4, 1-0) offense awoke in the second half, but both teams struggled mightily to score in an ugly first half.

SI led 6-4 after the first quarter and the game was tied 14-14 at the half, but unfortunately for the Crusaders, their cold streak didn’t end. Riordan shot 20 percent from the floor in the game, including 3-of-19 from 3-point range.

Shooting guard Anthony Castillo was the only Crusader to score in double figures with 11 points, and fellow senior D.J. Harvey added eight, but no other Riordan player scored more than three points.

Riordan senior guard D.J. Harvey (right) guards St. Ignatius senior guard Nick Johnson on Tuesday at Archbishop Riordan High School. (Photo by Doug Ko)

Castillo shot 4-of-12 from the field and 3-of-9 from 3-point range, but the rest of the Crusaders shot 4-of-29 from the field and 0-of-8 from 3-point range.

The Riordan point total is a season low and the lowest score since the Crusaders scored 23 against Mitty last January.

“I don’t know too many basketball games where you win shooting 20 percent,” said Riordan head coach Rich Buckner. “When you hold a WCAL team to 40 points, you expect to win a ballgame. It’s disappointing that we laid an egg on offense.”

The game was a typically-rough WCAL matchup and the officials allowed physical defense on both sides. Domingo was visibly fatigued at the end of the game and missed a dunk in the final moments to the delight of the Riordan crowd.

“I think it might be one of the best defensive leagues in the country and at the end of the game I missed that dunk because I had no legs,” Domingo said. “Every night in this league is going to be like that.”

Both coaches expect the same treatment moving forward in league play.

“I would expect nothing different and if [the referees] would have called it tight, neither team would have known what to do,” Reardon said.

Scoring Leaders

St. Ignatius
Stephen Domingo — 18
Terrance Roberts Jr. — 9
Trevor Dunbar — 7
Nick Johnson — 5
Antonio Aguilar — 1

Anthony Castillo — 11
D.J. Harvey — 8
Daniel Selsor — 3
Graham Gilleran — 2
Iwunna Ugbaja — 1

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  1. IC Stars says:

    When’s the last time Riordan scored under 30?

  2. Anonymous says:

    I had to go to this game to see if the hype surrounding the Domingo kid was deserved. He’s a tall kid with a long wingspan. I beieve his height is accurately listed at 6’7. I don’t have the final stats in front of me but I took a mental count and I counted 15-16 shots to get those 18 points plus another 10-11 freethrows. That is a very inefficient game for such a heralded player. JBalan hoping you can clarify my numbers if you have them. 25-27 shots for 18 points in a game where you were being guarded by players 6-7 inches smaller than you. To his credit he did go to the post when his jumpshot was off but he didn’t have a post move per say. He would just dribble in and shoot over the much smaller defender. I understand he struggled against jesuit when Uu who is 6’5 was guarding him. I can see why. The pesky Riordan defenders on the perimiter bothered him so I can see how he would struggle against a defender comparable in size. I think the most surprising thing for me to see was his on court demeanor. After having what most would consider a bad game against a mediocre team, he pounded his chest and yelled “you can’t guard me” (or something along those lines) after a layup against a 5’10 defender. I was very surprised to see that display. I believe this is one reason there is so much disdain towards this kid. He SHOULD be dominating this team and even though he was having an off game he says that? They were guarding him pretty effectively in my opinion. I am going to try to attend the SH game to see how he performs against some big guys.

    • jbalan says:

      I was on the floor and I didn’t see any of what you’re talking about regarding Domingo’s “demeanor.”

      He took 15 shots and 11 free throws and was actually guarded by 6-foot-6 Graham Gilleran at times. When he was guarded by smaller players, he had his back to the basket and when Gilleran was guarding him, he went to the dribble.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thanks JBalan for confirming my shot count. I was seated right behind the SI bench and he made the remark immediately after scoring on a post up. I am certain he said something along those lines. If you were on the opposite side of the court you may have missed it.

        When you say “at times” you can count those times on one hand. They had #33 checking him the majority of the game.

        • City Lights says:

          So now kids can’t say “You can’t guard me”?!? You’re such a detective. Should they all be good boys and girls and show no emotion. You don’t think Aaron Gordon yells after a basket or when he’s on a hot streak once in a while?

          It’s 2012, everyone isn’t going to be sitting with their feet flat on the floor and hands crossed in a prayerful position. Get a clue. Kids are allowed to have some emotion.

          Also, I called out SI and Domingo with a C’MON MAAN in another thread. Went to see the game and much to my surprise Domingo completely did what some of us said he never did…

          Whatever it takes to make your team win. Including playing above the rim.

          Nice work by SI last night. Riordan played great D as well, they just had no scoring whatsoever and their “big man” is even more thin than Domingo. CAN’T WAIT until the 10th at USF to see SI vs. SHC.

          I still think it’ll be a whuppin but I wouldn’t be surprised if SI’s new (old) coach pulled out some of that magic he used to beat Rob Jones’ Riordan team in CCS Championship a few years back.

          City BBall is definitely on the upswing.

          • Anonymous says:

            City Lights, playing with emotion is one thing, showing up your opponent is another thing. When Roberts made the three and the layup he showed emotion. Maybe that’s how Domingo fires himself up but to call out another kid when he himself struggled mightily (reference above 26 shots, 18 points) is not good sportsmanship. And he wasn’t on a hot streak at all, in the context of the game, it made him look bad.

    • merkinworld says:


  3. @SA says:

    It was nice to see Domingo inside, taking advantage of his size over much shorter players. As a basketball fan, it’s painful to watch SI play basketball because their offense doesn’t take advantage of the athletic talent they have on their team and when they try to run, they don’t seem to know how. It’s just Dunbar pushing the ball looking for an option without a fast break offense. I would like to see Riordan do well, but they are probably at the bottom of the WCAL fighting with Valley Christian for the last spot. Based on SI’s performance and lack of size they play inside, they will probably finish 5th or 6th against bigger team. Roberts is a beautiful athlete and should definitely be getting more time. Not sure if Aguilar is still hurt, but he seems to be invisible in the post as teams have figured out to front him. If SI ran a two post high low offense he would be more effective instead of being the lone guy in the paint.

    • JJ says:

      Terrance Roberts, Jr. Definitely needs more playing time. He’s like a quicker version of Nick Johnson. Against Jesuit, it seemed like he only played 1 or 2 minutes the whole game. He definitely needs to be on the floor. Not only does he have quick hands for defense, but it looked like he had excellent form on his 3pt shot. This will help open things up if opposing defenses concentrate on Domingo too much. I know this is just 1 good game, but it seems like he gained some confidence. sky’s the limit.

  4. wcalobserver says:

    Domingo was manned up by #33 Harvey whenever Harvey was on the court. Harvey is maybe 6’1″. Jeremy, you must have missed Domingo’s antics after being defended by a player a half foot shorter. Roberts for SI was the most game savy player on the court. Let us see if Domingo yells and beats his chest against Gordon.

    • SF_Mikey says:

      Selsor also guarded Domingo quite a bit and was definitely overmatched when Domingo posted him down low. Riordan is going to struggle mightily this year since they don’t have any size with their one big Gilleran plays much smaller than 6-6. They also don’t have ANY shooters either but at least play solid defense for the most part. Riordan’s PG had a brutal night shooting the ball and they need him to contribute more scoring wise or it’ll be a long year for the Crusaders.

      • WCAL Fan says:

        Only if they had a few consistent solid players and a strong big. Hopefully they will get a few wins in WCAL or a nice upset would be great.

  5. swag says:

    Riordan needs a big man!!

  6. bb fan says:

    How come Bobby Arenas didn’t play? Was he sick or did he miss practice?

    Also, I think Riordan will keep games close or even win if they keep the score down with good defense and using up the clock.

  7. purplemomba says:

    As a Riordan fan, I want to see what happens when Masoli is back playing with Arenas. Those two used to play very well together for St. Mary’s AAU team. Could be difference makers.

    • sports time says:

      @purplemomba, I agree with you on seeing Arenas and Masoli together cause they are both aggressive and tough kids for sphomores. Riordan needs toughness and big time fundamental players on boxing out hard and setting tough screens. Jiday thrown in the mix with Bobby A and Zach M. should be interesting for Riordan’s team. I think coach Buckner is doing a good job with what he has but the kids need to learn how to play hard at all times…Good luck kids!!

  8. BBallFan says:

    I was at the game. The pace seemed was very slow, deliberate and motionless. Don’t know if they were feeling each other out or was it nerves of it being the first WCAL game. Riordan did really well going into the 3rd but once the game was played at a faster pace, you can feel the emotions rising. Domingo made a basket down low and was fired up but I didn’t think it was at the expense of the defender. The referee was right there and could have warned him for unsportsmanship. They actually started a game with a T because he was dunking in warmups so they were watching him closely.

  9. SI Cats says:

    I think SI will continue to improve. Not there yet. Clearly, SHC & Mitty are the top teams in WCAL. Also looking forward to Bruce game on the 10th. Electric atmosphere – USF’s Memorial Gym will not be that full until Gonzaga plays USF later this season (and most fans there will be Zags fans).

    Domingo is a decent player. Needs to bulk up and get more assertive. Not sure if that’s in his make-up.

  10. SI Sports Radio says:

    You can listen live to the Mitty vs. SI boys basketball game live on SI Sports Radio Friday night 1/6 at 720pm. SI Sports Radio will also broadcast the Bruce Mahoney basketball game live from a sold out USF Memorial Gymnasium on Tuesday 1/10 with the SHC vs. SI girls at 550pm and the SHC boys vs. SI at 730pm. Listen with your computer, smart phone, iPad, or iPod Touch.

  11. Johnny Drama says:

    Big Steve went inside and people are still not happy. In basketball you exploit your advantages and your opponents’ weaknesses. He did what he had to do. Granted he missed some shots but last year at Riordan he made most of them. I agree that Roberts’ needs to play more and I liked the 2 guard combo of Waters and Dunbar. Is was a bit disconcerting to see the score as it was but a W is a W. Good luck Friday boys…remember last year!

  12. HS says:

    Drama, Steve did step up inside against Riordan and now he’s going to need some size in the line up to support him when they play Mitty and SHC or it will be another blow out like Jesuit.

  13. GCJ01 says:

    I think Domingo was referring to some of the commenters on this site! Especially since some of you (and I won’t say who) consistantly say that he’s too “weak” to go inside. Remember, it’s his coach that draws up the plays for him, so Domingo can’t fully take the blame for not going inside a lot.

    • JJ says:

      Yea, I think he does read the comments on this site, because why would he let other people tell him what the detractors are saying about him, when he can just read it himself? I guess it’s a good thing to have because even Kobe Bryant, Dirk Nowitski, and Lebron James have detractors too.

      • GCJ01 says:

        This is very true. A lot of the times top athletes say they don’t read what is being written about them when they actually do. Mr. Domingo claims that he doesn’t read what’s on the social websites, but there is only one that covers City sports and that’s SanFranPreps…so he could’ve just listed the site by name instead of side-stepping it. In any event, I do agree that it would be a foolish move to go by hearsay instead of reading it for yourself.

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