Boys Basketball: Catholic Central pulls away late to beat Emmanuel Christian

Cathoilc Central High School senior Ashton Young looks to pass the ball while being guarded by Emmanuel Christian's Justus Channels during their game on Thursday night in Springfield. The Irish won 55-40. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY MICHAEL COOPER

Credit: Name Test

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Cathoilc Central High School senior Ashton Young looks to pass the ball while being guarded by Emmanuel Christian's Justus Channels during their game on Thursday night in Springfield. The Irish won 55-40. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY MICHAEL COOPER

Credit: Name Test

Credit: Name Test

SPRINGFIELD — The Catholic Central High School boys basketball team jumped out to a 19-4 lead after the first quarter at Clark County rival Emmanuel Christian Academy, but Irish coach John Detling knew the Lions wouldn’t go away.

“It’s always a big rivalry between these schools coming here,” he said.

Emmanuel Christian cut the lead to five points multiple times in the second half, but the Irish went on a 7-0 run in the fourth quarter to pull away for a 55-40 non-conference victory on Thursday night in Springfield.

“That little stretch there in the fourth really sparked us,” Detling said.

Irish senior Ashton Young had a game-high 16 points, junior Tyler Galluch had 13 and Cole Ray added 12 as Catholic Central improved to 9-0.

Lions senior CamRon Roe scored 14 points, junior Byron Lawrence had 12 and senior Justus Channels added 10 as Emmanuel Christian fell to 3-5 overall.

“(Catholic Central) is a really good team,” said Lions coach Danny Moore. “You can’t turn the ball over the way we did (in the fourth quarter).”

The Irish jumped out to an 11-0 lead to start the game, including two 3-pointers by Ray. Defensively, the Irish held the Lions without a field goal for the first four minutes and led 19-4 after the first quarter.

The Lions stormed back in the second quarter, opening the period on a 10-0 run to cut the lead to 19-14.

“That’s what you want as a coach,” Moore said. “When you see 11-0, you think where is that going to sit with my guys heads. As we started to pull back in, I thought they did a good job keeping focused on the whole game.”

The Irish led 28-18 at the half, but the Lions cut the lead to six points at 44-38 on a basket by Channels midway through the fourth quarter.

Catholic Central turned up the pressure in the final four minutes, outscoring the Lions 11-2 the rest of the way to seal the victory.

“That’s the thing we’ve been talking about all year long,” Detling said. “We want to speed the game up and make it a lot faster. Over the last seven games, we haven’t really had that. We figured putting in a press with our athletes and how deep that we can go. At that point, that was kind of the turning point in the game and showed the guys that’s what we can do (with the press).”

The Lions return to action on Friday, Jan. 7, at Middletown Christian. They’re 2-2 in the league, two games back of first place Yellow Springs (8-2, 4-0).

“We’ve got to be really good from here on out,” Moore said. “We’ve got to keep coming together offensively. We didn’t have a rhythm at all tonight and obviously Central’s defense did a good job on that as well.”

Catholic Central has three games next week, including Northeastern at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Jason Collier Gymnasium. The Irish travel to West Jefferson on Friday before a highly anticipated matchup at Springfield on Jan. 8. With its unbeaten record, the Irish know their opponents will do whatever it takes to beat them.

“Every team that we face, if they knock us off, it’s their Super Bowl,” Detling said. “We just know that we can’t have any letdowns. We have to play a full 32 minutes of our style of ball.”

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