For nearly 30 minutes Saturday night, the Paul VI Catholic boys’ basketball team sat within a makeshift locker room and listened to Coach Glenn Farello. That the Panthers had just suffered a 70-54 loss to Oak Hill Academy, a perennial powerhouse ranked No. 2 in the nation by one national outlet, was not the issue. It was the manner in which they went down that needed to be addressed.
No. 1 Paul VI (2-2) has now lost two games in a row, including one to Washington Catholic Athletic Conference rival St. John’s on Thursday, and its latest setback as part of the National High School Hoops Festival at DeMatha on Saturday showed what a work in progress the Panthers remain.
Though new addition V.J. King finished with a team-high 18 points and guard Franklin Howard added 13, the duo combined for eight turnovers. At one point in the fourth quarter, Farello called three timeouts in a one-minute span, unhappy with his team’s disjointed play and poor body language.
Nothing, though, seemed to click and Oak Hill pulled away behind guard Dwayne Bacon (20 points) and former DeMatha forward Joe Hampton (13 points), who elected to transfer to Oak Hill this past summer.
Oak Hill guard Joshua Reaves, Paul VI’s leading scorer a year ago, added eight second-half points playing against his former team.
“When you make mistakes, you get exposed, and they exposed us in some of the things we’re not doing well right now,” Farello said. “We know it’s a process. This team will keep getting better. It just takes time. We understand that. We’re putting that all together.”
●St. John’s 73, Largo 71: Junior point guard Anthony Cowan Jr. nailed a three pointer as the buzzer sounded to send the game into overtime after the Cadets squandered a 24-4 lead. Cowan then capped off a 27-point, eight-assist, seven-steal performance by splitting two Largo defenders and banking a lay-in off the glass for the game winner.
St. John’s Coach Sean McAloon said the narrow escape was part of “a grow-up week for us” after the Cadets’ upset of No. 1 Paul VI.
“To get this one at the end, it’s definitely a big one for us,” Cowan said. “I’m happy we pulled it out.”
Less than 12 hours after scoring 47 points in a win over Douglass, Largo’s Abdulai Bundu had a game-high 28 points and nine rebounds.
● No. 2 DeMatha 55, Chaminade (Mo.) 54: With Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal seated at midcourt to watch his St. Louis-based alma mater, the Stags eked out a gutsy come-from-behind win once Chaminade’s Jayson Tatum, one of the top juniors in the country, missed a shot at the buzzer. DeMatha junior Markelle Fultz led the charge with 16 points and scored the game-winning points on two free throws with 26.1 seconds remaining.
●West Charlotte (N.C.) 83, No. 5 Potomac (Md.) 54: Karon Green had 15 points and Anthony Davis chipped in 13 for the Wolverines, but the defending Maryland 2A state champions were no match for West Charlotte. Memphis commit Randall Brodie (11 points) played limited minutes for Potomac because he took the ACT Saturday.
●Orangeville Prep (Canada) 72, No. 8 Montrose Christian 55: Led by point guard Alani Moore (14 points, eight assists), the Mustangs charged to a third-quarter lead only to fall short when Orangeville Prep pulled away late behind top recruits Jamal Murray and Thon Maker.