St. Ignatius edges Gordon Tech in hard fought Catholic League contest

By Sean McDonough

It took a balanced scoring effort from St. Ignatius  forwards Peter Ryckbosh, Marty McClure, and guard Brian Howard for the Wolfpack to narrowly defeat their Catholic League North Division foe, the Gordon Tech Rams, 48-42 Friday night.

Prior to tip-off, the weather outside Joseph J. Gentile Gymnasium at St. Ignatius College Prep hovered around the high-teens and low 20s – a rare cold night, given this winter’s mildness. Unfortunately for Gordon Tech and the Rams’ sharp-shooter, David Andrews, the cold didn’t stay outside.

Andrews started the game in a funk and had difficulty finding any kind of groove during the game. The senior guard began the game missing his first four shots, all 3-pointers. Andrews finished the first quarter 2-6 from 3-point range, and ended the game 3-9  for 3-pointers. He finished the game with nine points.

Both coaches mentioned Andrews’ rare off-night following the game.

Gordon Tech (9-12, 0-8 Catholic League) coach Shay Boyle reaffirmed his belief that Andrews is still one of the best shooters in the league, despite his performance last night.

St. Ignatius (19-3, 8-1) coach, Richard Kehoe, also gave Andrews praise saying, “Andrews has made a career out of making 3-point shots.”

The three Wolfpack seniors, Ryckbosh, McClure, and Howard accounted for 36 of St. Ignatius’ 48 total points. Ryckbosh led the way with 14, while McClure and Howard each added 11.

On the other side of the ball, Devanchey Bell led the Rams in scoring with 22 points.

St. Ignatius’ six-point win was a far cry from the two teams’ last meeting on Dec. 9 when the Wolfpack handily defeated the Rams, 63-42. In contrasting the two games Kehoe noted his team’s inability to build a comfortable lead to fulfill its plan of putting the Rams away early.

After the game, Howard pointed to his team’s experience winning games this season when explaining how the Wolfpack were able to hang on to their lead.

“It came down to us being used to winning,” said Howard. “We know how to win,” he added.

Howard also pointed to the atmosphere on the court and in the stands, which according to him fueled his team to victory.

“We really enjoy playing at home,” he said.

Howard’s confidence in his own team was obvious. But he did not go so far as to discredit his opponent. Instead he complemented the competitiveness his division rival displayed on the court.

“They made us a better team tonight,” said Howard.

Both teams took their chances taking 3-point shots; however neither team really capitalized from their excessive outside shooting.  St. Ignatius ended the evening shooting 3-14 for 3-point field field goals, whereas Gordon Tech went 8-18.

On his team’s 3-point shooting, Coach Boyle said, “It’s one of our strengths,” which suggests Gordon Tech intended on taking somewhere near 18 3-pointers – they just didn’t account for missing ten of them.

On the other side of the ball, Coach Kehoe and Howard had conflicting views on their team’s shooting.

Asked whether so many 3-point shots were a part of his team’s strategy, Howard responded, “Yeah, definitely, we take a lot of 3-pointers. We take our shots.”

When asked the same question, Kehoe laughed and said, “Not necessarily,” and then added, “We made tough shots.”

Interestingly, the losing team’s coach was able to draw more positives out of Friday night’s game than the winner.

Kehoe, with an irritated disposition, likely a reflection on his team’s play, said curtly, “We played decently well down the stretch. We made enough plays to win.”

Kehoe added, “We won and we’re still in first.”

Boyle, on the other hand was more optimistic on his team’s performance.

“I’m very proud of our effort,” he said. “This game was a sign of progress.”

Even though his team lost, Boyle did not hesitate in classifying his team’s effort as, “probably the best game of the year.”

Boyle also noted the significance of his team playing so well against a Kehoe led team, whom Boyle described as a “mastermind.”

Boyle’s mastermind described the back-and-forth contest as a typical “competitive Catholic League game.”