St. Viator gets healthy, blows out St. Patrick

By Greg Swiderski
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 1/13/2023 9:26 PM

St. Viator boys basketball coach Michael O'Keeffe thought he had a good game plan against visiting St. Patrick at Cahill Gymnasium Friday night.

"We have to protect the ball and limit turnovers," said O'Keeffe. "We also need to keep St. Pat's from second shots and hold them under 45 points."


It all came to pass as the Lions broke out to an 18-3 lead after one quarter in beating the Shamrocks 56-32 in East Suburban Catholic Conference action.

The Lions forced 9 St. Patrick turnovers in the initial quarter while committing none.

St. Viator (9-10, 4-4) continued the onslaught in the second quarter by hitting 9 of 13 shots to extend their lead to 41-10 at halftime.

"The players executed the game plan to perfection," said O'Keeffe. "This is one of the first weeks we have had healthy players for the entire week. The players deserved this one. This game 100% is about the players."

Junior Mitch Humphrey, who scored 12 points, hit three 3-point baskets in the first quarter. He connected on another from long range in the second quarter.

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"We came out really hot and played our game," said Humphrey, "We had a great week of practice and we were really excited as a team for this game. We have some players back from injury and we started clicking. If this were a practice it was our best all season."

One of those injured players, senior Eli Aldana, has given the Lions a lift since returning from a dislocated knee cap.

Aldana was consistent all night scoring 15 points to go with 4 steals and 3 assists. His eight point second quarter helped extend the lead over the Shamrocks.

"We could not have executed our game plan any better than we did," said Aldana. "Assistant coach Gary Wolf came up with some good schemes on defense. They like to run a weave with their offense and we just clogged up the middle and I think they got a little flustered. We've got some good chemistry going right now."

"We are a lot more connected on both ends of the floor with Aldana," said O'Keeffe. "His confidence rubs off on his teammates."


The Lions shot 16 of 31 (51%) in the first half and 9 of 11 from beyond the arc. They finished 22 of 47 for 46% but only committed 4 turnovers.

St. Patrick (11-6, 5-3) turned the ball over 20 times and shot 4 of 16 in the first half and finished at 36% (14 of 38). Harper Krolak led the Shamrocks with 16 points.

"This was a big win for us," said O'Keeffe. "They are one of the best, and one of the best coached programs in the Chicago area. We dictated the pace of play and set the tone with our defense."

Brandan Michaels and Henry Marshall each scored 7 points for the Lions.

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