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BOYS BASKETBALL: McCree's big night helps OLSM to win over Catholic Central WITH VIDEO

NOVI – With a game against Birmingham Detroit Country Day coming up on Tuesday night, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s had to make sure it didn’t look past rival Novi Detroit Catholic Central on Monday night.

After watching its lead dwindle down to just five points in the final couple of minutes of the third quarter, St. Mary’s responded in the following four minutes of the game to open up a near 20-point lead and ran away to a 63-44 win over the host Shamrocks.

St. Mary’s (8-7, 4-4 CHSL Central) head coach George Porritt said that he felt his team played well down the stretch on Monday night and added that his defense came up with some stops when the Eaglets needed it most in the third and fourth quarters.

“I thought they were good, and I thought they were focused,” he said. “They were doing a good job of talking to each other and just had to play some solid defense and I thought our offense worked well.”

After seeing their lead cut to 37-32, the Eaglets then took off on a lightning quick 14-0 run that lasted from the closing moments of the third quarter into the first few minutes of the fourth quarter to open a 51-32 lead with over five minutes left to play.

At the end of the third quarter, sophomore Ted McCree ended an 8-1 Catholic Central run that trimmed the Eaglets' lead down to 37-32 with a layup and then went on to account for 10 fourth quarter points, including a late dunk as the Eaglets continued to pull away.

Porritt said that in the third and fourth quarters his team started driving to the basket more and senior guard Sam McClendon started to have some success in the fourth quarter as well.

“I think Ted attacking and we got a couple of players to attack,” he said. “I thought that Sam started to get the ball to the free throw line, and he was able to get some good looks.”

McCree, who finished with a game-high 25 points on Monday night, noted that everything was working for him throughout the game, while adding that as Catholic Central started to cut into the lead, it was big for the Eaglets to continue to stay strong defensively and keep executing offensively.

“My shot, the defense, I was getting rebounds and I was just on,” he said. “We had to stay tough, keep tough on defense and get after the rebounds and find ways to score and just execute.”

Senior Matt Linehan poured in 14 points, including four 3-pointers, on the night to go along with the 25 points from McCree, while McClendon added in nine more in the win for the Eaglets.

In the third quarter, after St. Mary’s took a 36-22 lead thanks to back-to-back 3-pointers from Linehan and McCree, Catholic Central, who was playing without junior guard Mitchell Katkic (internal reasons), managed to start to chip away at the St. Mary’s lead.

After coming up with some key defensive stops, a lay-in from senior Garrett Moores and two straight jumpers from junior Charlie Ryan, as a part of an 8-1 run helped the Shamrocks trim the deficit down to five, the lowest since the opening moments of the second quarter.

Moores finished with a team-high nine points to lead the Shamrocks (4-11).

“When we play pretty well on defense, we’ve just played with effort,” said Catholic Central head coach Bill Dyer. “That’s been our big issue sometimes where we don’t give full effort all of the time, I think that’s part of our youth and inexperience, but when we do give effort, we’re really good at times, where at other times we just completely crumble and we can't do that in a Central game, because the game’s over.”

Last Updated: 2/12/2013 12:24:24 PM EST


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