The St. Joseph Catholic School boys basketball team has won its last four games in a convincing manner. On Thursday night, the Irish (9-4) stormed out to an early lead as they breezed by an undermanned Manchester Academy team, 52-17.
With four players out for violating team rules, the Mavericks suited up only six men Thursday, and had no answers for a St. Joseph full-court pressing defense. The irish led 34-8 at halftime, allowing St. Joseph to play reserves for most of the second half.
Junior Mekhi Norris led St. Joseph with 15 points. Freshmen and Jerrian King and C.J. Moore scored 10 points each.
While St. Joe coach James Hunter was happy for another win, he said he knows things are going to get much tougher when the postseason begins next month.
St. Joseph has earned the No. 2 seed in next months MAIS Class AA District 2 tournament at Benton. The Irish’s opponent in the first round of the tournament will be No. 3 seed Manchester.
“We know they are going to be a much tougher team when we play them again,” Coach Hunter said.
Before the district tournament begins, Coach Hunter said he hopes the next couple of games the Irish play will help get them prepared. St. Joseph was scheduled to play a road game against Bayou Academy Saturday before they travel to Riverside High School Monday night. St. Joseph’s senior night will be Tuesday against Benton Academy.
A strong combination of seniors and a talented crop of underclassmen have made St. Joseph one of the best teams in the area this season.
The Fighting Irish are led by seniors Dillon Johnson and Trey Benson. Johnson and Benson’s leadership has been crucial in helping freshman like King, Moore and Donnie Smith get acclimated to the rigors of varsity basketball this season.