Atkins points Mt. St. Joe to rout

Guard scores 28 as John Carroll comes up short in bid for 2nd upset

No. 1 Mount St. Joseph 73 No. 15 John Carroll 54

Boys basketball

December 15, 2007|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,Sun Reporter

Atkins scored a game — With sophomore point guard Eric "Smooth" Atkins at the controls, top-ranked and host Mount St. Joseph cruised past No. 15 John Carroll, 73-54, in Irvington last night.

Atkins scored a game- and career-high 28 points to go with four assists, and 6-foot-11 center Henry Sims had 19 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks.

Gaels coach Pat Clatchey called the impressive Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference victory "one of our biggest over the years," as the Gaels went to 5-0.

"We've had a lot of big wins, " said Clatchey, three years removed from a record-setting 38-1 campaign. "But I could not be more proud of a team. They were just focused and disciplined on both ends of the floor. ... It was just a team effort and Eric, like in the song `Smooth Operator,' was unbelievable, and Henry had a big game."

Atkins had 15 of his points in the first half, 10 in the second period, including 9-for-12 from the line, as the Gaels took a 35-18 lead at the break.

In the first four minutes of the second half, Atkins drilled a pair of three-pointers, with baskets by Gerald Hill and Chris Olsen sandwiched in between, to push the lead to 45-20.

"We wanted to show them that it's not easy coming into the A Conference," said Atkins, referring to the 54-51 win by John Carroll (6-2) on Tuesday at No. 2 Towson Catholic. The Patriots moved up this season from the B Conference to the A Conference.

"I credit our team on how good we play defense," said Atkins, who along with his teammates smothered the Patriots' shooters most of the night. Justin McCoy, Quentin Jones and Tore Turner all contributed defensively.

Isaiah Philmore led the Patriots with 16 points and seven rebounds, and Erick Smith added 10 points. Also, the Patriots' 7-foot-4 Jakub Kusmieruk had four points and four rebounds.

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