Boys
2016-'17 Season Coverage
Boys
updated: 3/2/2011 11:17 PM

St. Patrick gets defensive at Conant

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  • Conant's George Pessimisis, right, tries to get St. Patrick's Elijah Watson to go for a fake during Wednesday's game.

      Conant's George Pessimisis, right, tries to get St. Patrick's Elijah Watson to go for a fake during Wednesday's game.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  • Conant's Brian Wadsworth, right, makes a strong move to the basket against St. Patrick's Royale Ewing.

      Conant's Brian Wadsworth, right, makes a strong move to the basket against St. Patrick's Royale Ewing.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  • Conant's London Dokubo grabs St. Patrick's Jacob Williams by the arm as they dive to the floor for a loose ball during Wednesday's regional semifinal.

      Conant's London Dokubo grabs St. Patrick's Jacob Williams by the arm as they dive to the floor for a loose ball during Wednesday's regional semifinal.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  • Conant's Tim Manczko, left, tries to take the ball from St. Patrick's Dan Caplis Wednesday.

      Conant's Tim Manczko, left, tries to take the ball from St. Patrick's Dan Caplis Wednesday.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  • Conant coach Tom McCormack leads his team during Wednesday's regional against St. Patrick.

      Conant coach Tom McCormack leads his team during Wednesday's regional against St. Patrick.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

 
By Greg Swiderski

Defense was the theme as Conant hosted St. Patrick in a Class 4A regional semifinal Wednesday night.

"It was just two teams that played really tough defense," said Cougars coach Tom McCormack, a St. Patrick alumnus. "The rebounding difference St. Pat's had (32-14) ultimately was the difference in the game."

The Shamrocks used that advantage to secure a 41-29 win and set up Friday night's regional final against East Suburban Catholic Conference foe Notre Dame.

Sophomore guard Elijah Watson scored 6 of his 8 points in the fourth quarter and also grabbed 4 of his 8 rebounds in the final period. Kortney Darby and Royale Ewing led St. Patrick, now 15-11 and winners of four in a row, with 11 points. Darby had 8 rebounds and Ewing finished with 5 boards.

"To win tonight," said Watson, "we had to deny (London) Dokubo and (Dylan) Bartuch the ball. I knew down the stretch that we had to control the boards. Early in the year I had doubts, but I've gained confidence as the season has gone on."

The Cougars (17-11) never led in the contest but came close several times. Conant shot just 24 percent, connecting on 8 of 24 shots. Their defense, though, kept them in the game.

Conant closed to 28-25 with 4:53 left in the game when Sean Bourke hit a 3-point basket. Darby countered with an offensive putback before Dokubo scored on a reverse layup to make the score 30-27 with 3:50 left.

Darby made 2 free throws and Ewing scored a basket before Dokubo hit 2 of 3 free throws for Conant's final points with 1:41 left, making the score 34-29.

The Shamrocks then hit 7 of 10 free throws down the stretch to secure the win. St. Patrick hit on 13 of 30 field-goal attempts (43 percent).

"We played well off the glass," said St. Patrick coach Mike Bailey. "Ever since our second loss to Benet, we've been playing with a lot more toughness. The key tonight was keeping (Avery) Osby out of the middle and limiting the touches for Bartuch."

"We had a chance to tie the game after we pulled to within 28-25, but a 3-pointer from the corner missed," said McCormack. "I felt we defended the inside well, but again their rebounding was the difference."

Bartuch led Conant with 9 points and George Pessimisis came off the bench to score 6 points.