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St. John’s Prep storms into first place with upset victory

The St. John's Prep boys varsity basketball team exacted a measure of revenge Friday night when it defeated league rival St. Edmund, 82-68. The win moved St. John's into first place and was the first CHSAA Class B defeat for St. Edmund.

"We played from beginning to end, that was the biggest thing," said St. John's coach Jimmy Gatto. "We played really well."

The Red Storm battled on even terms with its opponents until Dwayne Thompson came alive in the second quarter, scoring 12 of the team's 18 points and propelling the club to a 10-point halftime league, 40-30.

Thompson finished the game with 29 in what Gatto called "his best game of the year so far." But Thompson did not do it alone, his coach said.

University of Connecticut signee Taliek Brown had another standout game, scoring 20 points with six assists, while Omar Malcom added 17. Dave Barrett, Gatto said, was instrumental under the boards for the Red Storm, while Trevor Bryant was strong on defense, holding St. Edmund's leading scorer, Andreas Pope, to 22 points.

St. Edmund had defeated St. John's Prep in overtime during their first meeting this season. The series is now tied at one apiece, with a third meeting likely in the playoffs.

"If we play like that all the time from beginning to end, we'll be very, very good," Gatto said.

The Red Storm improved to 16-4 overall and 8-1 in league play with the win.

Archbishop Molloy 91, Holy Cross 62. The big men of Molloy dictated their win Friday night against Holy Cross. Wendell Gibson led the way with 20 points and 17 rebounds. John Sikiric added 20 and James Hauser had 17, as Molloy went 29-for-35 from the charity stripe.

The Cross loss came at the heels of a valiant effort against Bishop Loughlin three days earlier, which the Knights lost, 72-66. In that game, Cross trailed by only two in the final minute. The loss to Molloy dropped Cross to 1-7 in the league and 8-12 overall.

"Our toughest match-up is Molloy because it's the tallest [of the league three best teams, Molloy, Christ the King and Loughlin]," Cross head coach Paul Gilvary said. "They're the biggest team in the league."

Ray Diaz led Cross with 13.

Archbishop Molloy 67, Xaverian 40. The Stanners went to 15-5 overall and 6-3 in the league with their 27-point win over the Clippers Sunday. Gibson again led with 19 points and 11 rebounds, while Sikiric added 19 with seven assists and Hauser chipped in 17.

Hempfield (Pa.) 50, Christ the King 49. In a non-league match-up, the Royals fell by one despite 13 points from Omar Cook and 12 from Zack Williams. Christ the King is now 15-5 overall.

Bishop Loughlin 104, Monsignor McClancy 69. Khari Council had 20 points and Daryl Boykins had 19 for McClancy, which fell to 1-8 in the league and 11-10 overall. Boykins scored his 1,000th career point in the games, but it was not enough for the Crusaders. Terrence Watkins had 30, Ted Munford added 17 and Curtis Sumpter had 16 for Loughlin, now 9-1 in the league.

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