St. Joseph Catholic School boys basketball coach James Hunter is used to starting each season slowly as the core of his players make the transition from a championship football team to a solid basketball team.
Around this time of year, however, Hunter is also becoming used to seeing his team begin to gel as they get to know each other and understand what type of team they have and what they are capable of achieving.
The Fighting Irish (5-3) won their third straight game Tuesday by defeating conference-foe Manchester Academy 62-46.
Senior Dillon Johnson led St. Joe with 18 points. Freshmen C.J. Moore and Jerrian King both scored 15 points, and junior Mekhi Norris scored eight points.
Coach Hunter said Tuesday’s win was another positive sign for his team. He was especially pleased with the balanced scoring attack the Fighting Irish displayed in their victory.
“Dillon is still scoring a lot for us, but this season he seems to be getting a little more help,” Coach Hunter said.
The Irish won two big games during the Christmas break at the Catholic Schools Tournament at St. Joseph Madison. On Dec. 27, Dillon Johnson hit a buzzer beater to lift the Irish to a 56-53 victory over Puckett. A day later at the tournament, St. Joe played, perhaps, its best game of the season when it defeated Class 5A St. Stanislaus 62-46.
“Everything was clicking for us in our victory over St. Stanislaus,” Coach Hunter said.
St. Joseph’s next game is Friday night at home against rival Greenville Christian. The Saints defeated the Irish 54-50 on Dec. 13.
“Friday night will be another great game for us,” Coach Hunter said.