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Boys Basketball: Archbishop Wood Holds off Archbishop Ryan

February 18, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

By Andrew Marcus
The Public Spirit/Globe Times Chronicle

The Archbishop Wood boys’ basketball team characterizes themselves as a young team and that was before they lost senior Jack Walsh from the starting lineup with an ankle sprain. Starting two freshmen, a sophomore, a junior and all-league senior Joe Getz, the Vikings overcame the lack of experience and held of Archbishop Ryan 53-48 on Wednesday in the opening round of the Philadelphia Catholic League playoffs.

The Vikings’ youth became visible for a minute in the fourth quarter and almost cost the Vikings a chance to play La Salle on Friday. Back-to-back turnovers followed by back-to-back buckets by the Raiders’ Christian Rivera gave Ryan the 44-43 lead with 2:41 remaining. Rivera got hot in the second half and scored 11 of his game high 20 points in the fourth quarter.

“We let up and let them get back into it,” Vikings’ sophomore Shane Neher said. “We should have put them away. We knew (Rivera) could score, but we were focused on Fleming and forgot about him.”

The Vikings did not let the sudden loss of control stunt their growth and they quickly regained the advantage. Junior Kyle Adkins made the play of game by stealing the ball out of Rivera’s hands and the entire team hit the free throws down the stretch. Neher and Getz made the shots from the foul line to close out the opening round win. Getz led the team with 19 points and Neher added 14 points.

“Nothing is ever easy in our league,” Vikings’ coach Jack Walsh said. “We got up nine points and then a couple turnovers in stretch of a minute and 30 really hurt us. I don’t care who you are playing, you cannot have those mental breakdowns. The problem at times has been when we get that lead we cannot take it from nine-to-12-to-15 points. Kyle’s flick was huge and the play of the game because they were up by one and could have went into a delay and made us foul. Instead we got a stop and then made foul shots.”

Neher and freshman center Joe Lastracco’s nine points were much needed with Walsh sidelined. The Vikings were well aware the Raiders were going to try and contain Getz and they made them pay with Neher’s ability to get to the basket and Lastracco’s ability to spin off he pick he set for Getz. By the end of the game Neher and Lastracco were viable secondary options for the Vikings and the Raiders had to make sure they were accounted for.

“We just ran our regular offense and made sure we did not turn the ball over,” Neher said. “I know I have to step it up, get to the basket and finish. We know every one is going to double Joe and with Jack out we do not have a shooter from the corner. Hopefully we will keep getting better and be ready for Friday against La Salle.”

The Vikings played a nearly identical defense on the Raiders and their all-leaguer Eric Fleming. Fleming got lose for 17 points, including a deep three-pointer with 1.7 seconds left, but it was the turnovers Getz and freshman Tommy Rush forced that has the Radiers one and done in the league playoffs.

“Archbishop Ryan causes some matchup problems and we played a little cat and mouse on defense,” Walsh said. “The guys did what they had to do. It was nice to see when we lost the lead we came back and won it. We have to be very tough and win games on defense.”

The Vikings will look to rebound from an earlier devastating loss to Explorers in the next round of the PCL tournament. They understand they will need to get a similar effort from all five on the floor and count on Getz. The Explorers’ game plan will be to stop Getz and the Vikings need to show the experience of tough losses has helped them learn how to finish games out.

“I tried to forget about (La Salle),” Walsh said. “The game was tied with 17 seconds left and all we were trying to do was get an inbound to Joe. Unfortunately there was a turnover on the inbound and they went down and made foul shots. We always talk about how you cannot have one guy, especially with Jack out, to depend on. There is not another senior on the floor with Joe, so it was nice to see the other guys step up on the foul shots and defense tonight. Shane goes under the radar, but he steps up when he has to and Joe works well off the pick and role. We are excited to have another shot at La Salle at their place.”

Archbishop Ryan (48) – Rivera 8 4-4 20; Fleming 6 3-4 17; Rymal 2 0-0 6; Aughenbaugh 1 0-2 3; Slawter 1 0-0 2. Totals: 18 7-10 48.

Archbishop Wood (53) – Getz 6 4-5 19; Neher 5 4-5 14; Lostracco 4 1-2 9; Rush 1 4-4 6; Adkins 1 3-6 5. Totals: 17 16-22 53.

Three-point goals: Getz (3), Fleming (2), Rymal (2), Aughenbaugh

Archbishop Ryan 13 4 14 17 – 48

Archbishop Wood 12 8 19 14 – 53

Republished with the permission of The Public Spirit/Globe Times Chronicle

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