Junior Jalen Hudson and freshman VJ King can stretch a defense with their 3-point shots.
They can also handle the basketball, dunk and make a mid-range jumper.
The two St. Vincent-St. Mary standouts displayed their outside shooting strokes Tuesday night when they led the Irish to a 61-50 victory over host Walsh Jesuit before a sellout crowd.
Hudson and King both scored 21 points for the Irish (10-9), who made 9-of-14 shots from beyond the 3-point arc to defeat the Warriors (13-5).
“The shot selection was good, especially in the second half,” St. V-M coach Dru Joyce II said. “I thought [junior] Dante Booker, he did some good things that people don’t really notice. He set those screens. We did a lot of pin-and-skip passes. He pinned guys down. They did it back to us too, but Dante did a great job. When you get that type of team play, good things can happen.”
Senior Mark Mittiga, a 6-foot-2 guard, made five 3-pointers and scored 22 points for Walsh.
The first half featured 12 lead changes. St. V-M led 15-13 after one quarter. Walsh led 28-27 at halftime following a 3-pointer at the buzzer by senior Doug Lewis.
Three lead changes occurred in the third quarter, with the Irish outscoring the Warriors 15-6 in the eight minutes.
“That was a game we felt we played well enough to win,” Walsh coach John Norris said. “We had a bad stretch in the third quarter and go 2-for-13 [from the field]. I think part of it was us settling for some poor shots. We need to make better decisions in these kinds of situations. Playing against a team of their talent, the margin for error on your decisions is going to be small.”
King, a 6-7 forward, scored seven points in the third quarter. He made four-of-seven 3-pointers in the game.
“We basically slowed down and took our time,” King said. “It started on the defensive end. Our offense is going to come. We have scorers on the team. We have incredible players that can score, but it started on the defensive end and getting some stops.”
Hudson, a 6-6 forward, scored six points in the third quarter. He made five-of-six 3-pointers in the game and grabbed five rebounds.
“We started to play more as a team,” Hudson said. “That is what we did in the third quarter. It started to show. We started to take the lead and keep the lead.”
St. V-M upped its lead to 53-38 with 3:50 to go in the fourth following a King 3-pointer.
“This is a tough place to play,” Joyce said. “We know that. This is a rivalry game. They came ready to play. We tried to throw a little zone at them early to make them think and show them something different. They responded and hit some 3s. We got out of that and did what we do. We just guarded people.
“At halftime, I was just telling VJ and Jalen that we were rushing stuff. We were just not patient. I felt like in the second half we showed more patience and made that one extra pass. Instead of two passes, you get three passes now and a guy gets open for a good look. When you get good looks, shots fall because they are good shooters.”
Senior Nick Wells added nine points and six rebounds for St. V-M.
“We had 17 assists and 12 turnovers. I can live with that,” Joyce said.
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MBeavenABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.