Five Takeaways: Charm City Classic

High School

Posted On: 12/5/17 8:33 PM

The inaugural Charm City Classic took place at UMBC this past weekend in an event that featured some of the top high school team from the state of Maryland. More specifically, it was four teams from the BCL Conference taking on four team from the WCAC.

The slate included Mount Carmel going up against Bishop McNamara, John Carroll versus St. Mary’s Ryken, Mt. St. Joseph battling against St. John’s and St. Frances taking on Gonzaga.

Here are five takeaways from the event.

McNamara rides balanced scoring attack to a win

Bishop McNamara won by a final score of 65-53 thanks to a balanced scoring attack from Ibn Williams, Brandon Joyner and Kenneth Womack. Williams got hot late in the game to help put the game out of reach for the Mustangs by hitting a couple of three’s and cashing in at the charity stripe. Joyner was aggressive out of the gate and helped set the tone coming off the bench. At 6’5, he doesn’t have the prototypical build of a basketball player, but he knows how to utilize his size to help create shot opportunities in the paint off the dribble.

McNamara played with tremendous energy throughout. Jordan Jones did all he could to make a late push for the Cougars by scoring 14 of his 19 points in the second half, but it wasn’t enough.

John Carroll’s dominance continues

John Carroll is 3-1 on the year with their only loss coming to St. Frances in overtime. This past weekend, they again proved why they should be mentioned with the top teams in the state right now. And yes, they’re doing this without their Kentucky bound point guard Immanuel Quickley. The Patriots dismantled St. Mary’s Ryken by a final score of 94-60. Yavuz Gultekin led the way with 19 points followed by Montez Mathis‘ 17. Brandon Craig and Cameron Byers each chipped in with 12 points of their own.

The Patriots are averaging an impressive 80.2 points per outing as a team, but it’s what they’re doing on the defensive end that’s even more extraordinary. They mix up defenses from man-to-man, zone and a number of different full-court traps. Where they shine is limiting their opponent to one shot per possession. Nigel Haughton is the spearhead behind the effort with his ability to pressure the ball 94 feet. Craig gives them a lock down perimeter defender, Mathis sits back like a safety in football and reads passing lanes, Gultekin collects rebounds and pushes the ball himself and Byers is the physical presence in the paint.

Mt. St. Joseph beginning to find their groove

After losing to John Carroll by 21 points earlier in the week, there was some concern as how the Gaels would bounce back. Not only did they get wins against Spalding and Goretti, but they earned a big victory over St. John’s (DC) in the Charm City Classic by a score of 64-51. The duo of Jalen Smith and James Bishop came to play as the two scored 21 and 20 points respectively.

Bishop had an efficient scoring game from three, while Smith was a dominant force inside the paint finishing around the rim and collecting offensive rebounds. The balanced play of senior guards Tyree Myers and Kendall McMillian made it difficult for St. John’s to come back once they fell down by more than seven.

Casey Morsell played well for St. John’s leading them with 14 points. He was active early on attacking the rim and finishing through contact, which helped give his team some much needed energy and confidence. In the end, Smith and Bishop were just too much late in the game and the Gaels walked away with the victory.

Gonzaga makes an early statement

The most anticipated game of the night was between St. Frances and Gonzaga. In very disappointing fashion, the Panthers came out flat as Gonzaga cruised to a 81-57 win to open their season. 2020 big man Terrence Williams had an outstanding performance by leading all scorers with 22 points. He did so in a variety of ways whether it was knocking down three’s as the trailer in transition, operating with his back to the basket on the block, or taking his man off the dribble from the high post area.

The Eagles were missing two of their main pieces in Prentiss Hubb and Anwar Gill due to injury, but the play from Williams and Chuck Harris proved to everyone that they’re ready to hold down the fort.

St. Frances didn’t play their game. It was a mixture of not being able to stop Gonzaga in transition and just making questionable decisions with the ball. The one thing that can be taken from this game is Gonzaga, no matter the injuries, is still the real deal and will be one of the best teams in high school basketball.