Boys Basketball: Fox does it all as Sacred Heart Cathedral cruises to beat Bellarmine

Sacred Heart Cathedral senior forward Joshua Fox (right) sets to back down Bellarmine forward Griffin Goudreau on Saturday at Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep. (Photo by Eric Luis)

By Jeremy Balan

It wasn’t a banner night offensively for most on the floor at Sacred Heart Cathedral on Saturday night.

That is, except for standout Sacred Heart forward Joshua Fox.

Fox was the only player on either team to score in double figures, with a game-high 22 points and 13 rebounds, as the Irish cruised to a 58-43 West Catholic Athletic League win over visiting Bellarmine.

Sacred Heart Cathedral junior guard Khalil James drives past a Bellarmine defender on Saturday at Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep. (Photo by Eric Luis)

The 6-foot-4 senior scored Sacred Heart’s first six points of the game to spur a 11-1 run, but it was his play during long stretches of foul trouble for frontcourt-mate Taylor Johns that buoyed the Irish throughout.

“We work together all of the time, so when I saw him go down and get frustrated, I had to pick it up,” Fox said. “I just wanted to keep the energy up and we wanted to send a message tonight.”

The intended message is that the Irish (16-3, 6-3) are a contender for the WCAL title, despite three close losses on the road in league play by a combined seven points, including a one-point loss to the Bells (11-8, 4-5) on Jan. 6.

“We were really upset about all of the losses we’ve had and we feel we didn’t give it our all,” Fox said. “Tonight we wanted to show everybody that wasn’t us. We’re coming after everybody from now on.”

The Irish shot 38 percent from the floor, but took 19 more shot attempts from the field than the Bells, who often looked stagnant on offense and committed 20 turnovers.

The Bells were able to stay relatively close with a 15-for-17 shooting performance from the free-throw line, but never cut the Irish lead below 10 after Sacred Heart pushed their advantage to double digits late in the second quarter.

“Everything in competition, and certainly in basketball, requires five guys playing as hard as they can on every possession,” said Bellarmine head coach Patrick Schneider. “Sacred Heart came ready to play – and Fox certainly didn’t want to make it three losses in a row – and we didn’t.”

What was most striking about Fox’s performance was his versatility in scoring, as it has been all season. He got to the free-throw line early, finished regularly in the paint, slammed home a put-back dunk, hit mid-range shots and knocked down a 3-pointer.

Sacred Heart Cathedral junior guard Herman Pratt (left) skies for a contested layup against Bellarmine on Saturday at Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep. (Photo by Eric Luis)

“The thing with Josh that people don’t talk about is that he’s just a basketball player,” said Sacred Heart head coach Darrell Barbour. “I love guys that can just play basketball, and you can put him anywhere on the floor and he’ll do something positive for you.”

Fox also led an impressive Irish shot-blocking effort with four blocks, and even in limited time, Johns had an impact on the defensive end with three denials.

Still, Fox – who Barbour says is his own biggest critic – found plenty of room for improvement from a defensive standpoint.

“Great talking teams are great defensive teams, and right now, we’re an OK talking team and an OK defensive team. We could have stepped it up a little bit more,” Fox said, looking up at the scoreboard. “They scored too much.”

Scoring Summary

Sacred Heart Cathedral
Joshua Fox – 22
Khalil James – 8
DeOndre Otis – 8
Herman Pratt – 8
Tyler Petroni – 6

Grant Vermeer – 9
Isaac Gales – 8
Griffin Goudreau – 6
Jack Fordyce – 4
Four players tied with 2 points

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  1. GCJ 01 says:

    Fox went off. He, and the rest of his team, did what is to be done when a fellow star teammate goes down, you pick up the slack and keep playing tough. Great job SHC. Now do the same with Mitty when they come to your place!!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Fox is a great kid, he is humble and very hard working. He isn’t showy but he will definitely let you feel his sting out on the court. He is a great example of leadership and toughness for SHC and San Francisco.

  2. IC Stars says:

    I thought Khalil James had a great game out there too. I can’t believe they lost to Bellarmine at their place.

  3. BigMikeDC says:

    Nice job Josh – it’s been great to see you in action since gradeschool!

    • Cats Pride says:

      where’d he go to grade school?

      • BigMikeDC says:

        Town School for Boys. Great coaches and atmosphere over there – really attribute his success to that fine establishment.

        • City415 says:

          nah he went to Saint Thomas Apostle

        • Big guy 24 says:

          Josh Fox attended St.Thomas More grammer school along with Tyler Petroni…Actually Josh transferred in to st.thomas more in the 7th grade. A good kid with a good work ethic. keep up the good work kid…

          • Irritating person who keeps pretending to be other people says:

            That is outright false. I don’t know where he attended, but I am in his grade level and I went to St. Thomas More and he definitely did not go there.

            • JJ says:

              1st he went to Town, then St Thomas Apostle, then St Thomas More now someone refutes that, lol. Pretty soon someone will say he forged his birth certificate and he’s actually 25

              • WCal Fan says:

                He did go the St Thomas More at the end. My three sons went to STM and I watched him play there.

            • Big guy 24 says:

              Josh Fox attended St.thomas More in 7th and 8th grade with Tyler Petroni and Ricky Alberto who all play for SHC. I know this cause I helped coached them in Div 1 cyo. Dj whiz I help put Josh Fox in st.thomas more, 100% on this topic. Josh is a good kid, when you see him then ask him. D.K. Villanueva who played football for SHC was with that group of kids too…Have a good day to all..

              • jbalan says:

                This is correct. He went to St. Thomas More.

              • DJ Whiz says:

                Thanks Big Mike – I know that for certain . Someone used my ID to make that comment , impersonating me . JB please crack down on this . Big Mike has more than the proof , so subject closed and confirmed . GO SH !

              • jbalan says:

                I’m trying to. There will be new commenting policies out tonight, because someone is this commenting process very difficult by using other people’s names.

              • DJ Whiz says:

                Big Guy , someone impersonated me with that contributing comment on where Josh went to school . I know that he did go to STM and thankyou for confirming that . Secondly , I am not in his grade and am a parent .

              • DJ Whiz says:

                Thanks jbalan , I know this can be a Herculian task to keep tabs on , greatly appreciate you and your work for our youngsters . Cheers

              • JJ says:

                This happened to me a couple days too. Apparently the impersonator was supposedly banned from this site, but I guess he went to his grandma’s house and used her IP address.

  4. City Lights says:

    Great job by SHC. They can definitely beat Mitty but it will be tough.

    • DJ Whiz says:

      I agree with you City Lights , SH have a good chance of getting the better of Mitty , play smart is all I have to offer .

  5. Anonymous says:

    jb what day do the new rankings drop?

  6. Justa Fan says:

    Great show last night Josh. Congrats Irish!

  7. Cats Pride says:

    I honestly don’t understand how SH is so good. It seems like if you can wrap up fox and johns you should be able to win. I think domingo + dunbar should be harder to stop than fox/johns. Anyone have any insight?

    • AFitzsimon says:

      That assessment is hard to judge, because it would be hard to Dunbar to stop Johns or Fox because of his height, and there is no way Domingo can stop both of them. If you want to make the argument for Aguilar and Domingo, it’s a simple no, because as big as Aguilar is he doesn’t jump anywhere in the stratosphere of Johns and Fox. Quite honestly, SI is not a team to be comparing to SH because SH is far and away better. Mitty and Serra are more comparable.

    • Irish Till I Die says:

      You can’t wrap up both Fox and Johns though. As shown in the bruce mahoney, not many teams have two defensive big men that can challenge them both. Domingo/Dunbar, you keep trevor from driving and make domingo give up the ball, SI’s done.

    • Anonymous says:

      SHC plays like a team, they don’t rely on the two towers to do anything other than be themselves. SHC guards, Petroni, Pratt, James are not large by basketball standards but are talented and very quick, they all can put up points. Have you ever seen Pratt play, with his hair he really is a pest to the opposing teams, Petroni is not “ON” every night, but when he is, watch out, 3 point specialist. James is also very good, not like Dunbar but he is quick and has good shot selection and distribution.

    • BIG RICH says:

      I think Domigno and Dunbar are a good combo, but Domingo is not willing to do the hard work work on the inside, Fox and Taylor are, and do it every game. I been watching Dunbar for a few years now and he is a good player, but when he is asked to play team ball he is stagnant. That’s the draw back from AAU. Both Domingo and Dunbar are stars in that realm, but are average in the WCAL.Great college teams mirror the WCAL not AAU.

    • SF_Mikey says:

      Offensively Fox is the total package in that he can hurt you both inside and outside. Johns is much more limited offensively in that he’ll only hurt you inside but is so athletic that he can be a handful. They both play above the rim and are very good offensive and defensive rebounders. Defensively they are both big enough to play post players and quick enough to content with smaller players. They both consistently block multiple shots per game. Their achilles heel at least from the games that I’ve seen are they aren’t very good FT shooters. Lastly they are experienced as seniors and are complementary players so if you happen to shut down one then the other often steps up and carries the load like last night. I like a few of the other SHC players especially Pratt who’ll have to step up next year after Johns / Fox depart.

      Domingo and Dunbar are both talented players no doubt but Domingo looks to me like he’s auditioning for the next level where he’ll play the wing instead of dominating inside like he is certainly capable of at the high school level. A poster a while back stated that Johns would probably have been better served in preparation for the next level to play at a basketball factory like Findlay Prep instead of playing C at only 6’4″. Dunbar is a really quick, strong penetrating guard with a decent outside shot. I don’t really see the two complement each other but am not sure if that’s the system or player skill sets. I would like to see more of a two man game clearing out a side – i.e., utilizing screen and rolls as Dunbar is a great penetrator and Domingo can either roll to the hoop or step out to hit the jumper.

      Neither the SI nor SHC supporting cast are especially stellar although I like Pratt’s game a lot.

    • Big guy 24 says:

      It would be really tough to wrap up Fox and Johns cause they are so talented and play so hard at 6ft5 both of them can score, rebound, defend, and make alot happen on the court for the irish. I see Dunbar hard to defend cause he’s left handed and can handle the ball like a champ. As far as Domingo, i’m not impressed yet but he will get better. I feel like Domingo doesn’t play hard at all times and I feel like he can do more for SI with rebounding and defense, again just my opinion on what i’ve seen so far in 6 games I witnessed. Good luck to all these young men with future games..

      • Uncle Frank says:

        Domingo and Dunbar vs. Fox and Johns? Please. Dunbar can penetrate but once inside he won’t get shots off against those two. A penetrator like Dunbar needs to be able to feed his big man. However, Domingo won’t be found down there in the paint because he stays at the 3 point line (shooting 15%).

        By the way, another highly recruited 6’6″ junior from the East Bay, Jabari Byrd at Salesian, is hitting his 3s at 42% AND dominating inside. You can do both.

        • JJ says:

          Jabari Byrd is a top 20 player in his class, and plays against weaker defenses in his league. Teams like St Mary’s of Albany will enable you to pad your stats. Jabari Byrd also can touch the rim with his head, so he can basically go up for a tomahawk dunk against smaller defenders every time. It’s also easier to hit a 3 when the person guarding you is 6feet. Other than Riordan, a guy 6-4 or taller is guarding SD31 every night in the WCAL.

          • Uncle Frank says:

            I am a WCAL guy through and through. However, the announcers on the Salesian v. St. Mary’s game made a good case for the BSAL. I tried looking it up to confirm, but I believe the announcers showed a graphic that a BSAL team has played in a state championship game for 7 years in a row. Granted, it’s division IV usually, but still quite an achievement.

            Would love to see Salesian (Bird) and Mity (Gordon) play each other this year. Both players are ranked in the top ten of class of 2013 nationally. They also both play on the Oakland Soldiers AAU team that has become a feeder to the Arizona Wildcats. Arizona fan blogs think they might get both of them with the main competition for both being Washington.

            • JJ says:

              Yea, I heard the same thing about Bird, Gordon, and SD31 maybe all going to Arizona. Even SD31 mentioned it on his twitter, lol. Arizona is the middle of the pack Pac 12 team this year, while CAL and Washington seems like the powerhouse this year. I just wish they would go to a bay area team like CAL. I’m not sure if Gordon is talented enough, but he might do the “1 and done” route to the NBA.

              • Uncle Frank says:

                Be careful JJ: Domingo doesn’t belong in that group. It’s really an unfair comparison for him.

                Bird and Gordon are Top 10 players nationally and I’m not sure that Domingo, despite his potential, is even a Top 10 player in the WCAL this year. Domingo is much more looking like a lower Div. 1 recruit, like USF or Santa Clara. Bird and Gordon will almost be able to pick among whatever school appeals to them. However, unless Domingo starts shooting better as a senior, there will not be much of a market for a jump-shooting wing player who hits at a 15% level.

                Who knows? Maybe he’ll get his touch back this summer playing for his AAU team and tear it up again. That’s where most D1 coaches do their scouting.

              • JJ says:

                That’s kinda rough to say that SD31 may not be a top 10 player in the WCAL. Gordon, Fox, Johns, Caruso, Dunbar, etc…are one of the best in the WCAL, and to say that SD31 may not be a top 10 player in the WCAL is like a slap to his face. I’ll just leave it at that.

              • Ari Gold says:

                “Top 10” players translates to team wins. The other players you mentioned except Dunbar, their teams are 1,2,3 in league. Look at Mission, they probably have 3 of the top 6 players in AAA. What place are they in? If you claim he’s in the top 10, he needs to back that up in the win column.

              • JJ says:

                When you ranked the 10 top players in your “fantasy” draft, you had SD31 in your top 10. I know wins are important, but if you put SD31 on Mitty or SHC, I’d be willing to bet they would be a really great team. Domingo basically has to get all the rebounds, block all the shots, get all the inside points. When it’s all said and done, I wouldn’t be surprised if he still made 1st team WCAL, but 2nd team is a lock if he doesn’t make 1st team.

              • Uncle Frank says:

                JJ: Did you really say “Domingo basically has to get all the rebounds, block all the shots, get all the inside points.”

                Get all the inside points? Domingo? Maybe the only league games you’ve seen are the ones against Riordan, because against anyone else, he scores only from the outside and on fastbreaks. Never Inside. If he makes first team WCAL, at what position? Guard? He can’t make it over Gordon, Fox or Johns as a big. Can he really make it as a guard? Doubt it.

            • ARHS Stats says:

              The Top Level teams in the BSAL are usually pretty good and compare favorable with WCAL teams. [St. Joseph Notre Dame, St. Mary’s (B) (most years), Salesian]

              But the bottom four teams would be blow outs by every WCAL team including Riordan.

              Saint Mary’s (B) is having a bad season this year, but they are still in fifth place in league in the BSAL, and they have won only 4 games all season. (3 games won in league)

              Riordan beat St. Mary’s (B) earlier this season by 20 points or so.

              • JJ says:

                7 players are picked for 1st team WCAL and 1 player is picked as Player of the Year, which was Gordon last year

  8. Big guy 24 says:

    DJ whiz, No problem and sorry someone hacked you. Fox and Johns are a very good combo and maybe next year Dunbar/Domingo will be the next tough duo. Basketball players that are legit get the job done in what ever way the team needs to win. A coach trys to put a kid in a position to succeed not to fail cause the coach wants to win too. By next year I think Domingo will figure out he can play well on the 3 pt line but more important in the paint too. In time a kid who is legit figures out he can dominate anywhere on the floor on Off. and Def. and if you watch carefully Fox and Johns do dominate the whole floor from steals and blocked shots to denying the passing lanes, and on Offense well you can see it with your eye’s. Shooting 3’s and driving to the basket and post up and score. Fox and Johns need to improve on the freethrow line to be even better. Good luck to all the kids cause the WCAL is a tough league!!

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