Tim Rogers


The St. Vincent-St. Mary boys basketball team put a new spin on the phrase “10 will get you 20” on Friday.



Ten players did the bulk of the damage and led the Irish to the school’s 20th consecutive sectional championship with a 71-40 victory over Northwest in a Division II game in LeBron James Arena.



The top-seeded Irish (21-3) had little trouble against the 11th-seeded Indians (9-14) and advanced to a district semifinal against Norton — a 74-58 winner over Kenmore — at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Canton Memorial Field House.



High school basketball is played at two speeds. There is Northwest speed and then there is St. V-M speed. The Irish, ranked third in the state by the Associated Press, were able to play at their speed for enough spurts to make it to Canton.



“No disrespect to Northwest, because they have some good stuff and they ran some good stuff, but our main goal was to get through this with no injuries and move on,” Irish coach Dru Joyce said. “I told the kids all week that they [Northwest] would run their stuff and they had better be prepared. But when you hold a team to 40 points, you have to be doing something right.”



The Irish were prepared, except for a brief time during the first half. They outrebounded the Indians 34-23 and made 28-of-59 shots from the floor while limiting Northwest to 15 field goals on 34 attempts.



The Irish have three “go-to guys” in senior Henry Baddley and juniors Jayvon Graves and Jon Williams, and they went to them most of the night. The 6-foot-2 Graves scored 22 points, had a team-high eight rebounds and three assists.



Williams scored 11 of his 14 points in the first half and had five rebounds and seven assists, and Baddley, a Butler recruit, scored eight of his 12 points in the second half and had two rebounds and four assists.



The Indians did not look like an 11th-seeded team, especially during the late stages of the first quarter and the early stages of the second. Led by the sharp shooting of sophomore Scott Wormald and the workmanlike effort of 6-2 senior Matt Fennell, the Indians threw a brief scare into the Irish.



After building a 17-point lead through the first seven minutes St. V-M grew a little sloppy and lackadaisical and the Indians trimmed that deficit to six points on two occasions. A 3-point shot by senior Brayden Penrod and a putback by Matt Fennell got them to within six points with a about three minutes remaining in the half.



The Irish responded on a basket and free throw by Graves and a 3-pointer by Williams with two seconds to go to make it 35-23 at the half. The Irish extended the lead to 44-26 by scoring nine of the first 11 points of the third quarter. Senior Niko Lalos, who finished with six points and four rebounds, put the finishing touches on the spurt with a putback in traffic.



Fennell finished with nine rebounds and senior Nathan Booth matched Penrod with nine points.



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