Tonight’s WCAC (Washington Catholic Athletic Conference) boy’s basketball matchup is between Paul VI (Va.) and St. John’s (DC). Both teams are off to a great start to the season and they are loaded with Division I talent. This game should be the best conference game tonight. So you will be ready for tonight’s action, here is a quick preview of the game.
Time and Location
St. John’s vs Paul VI
Location: Paul VI
The last time Paul VI and St. John’s faced each other was on February 2, 2015. Paul VI won by the score of 75-65. The victory over the Cadets allowed Paul VI to even the season series since St. John’s won the first game.
Paul VI enter the season looking to rebound after last year when they went 17-15 and was knocked out of the WCAC playoffs in the first round. The Panthers are 3-0 and coming off a 50-39 win against rivals Bishop O’Connell. The game was low scoring at the beginning as the score was 10-8 at the end of the first quarter. The third quarter was when Paul VI pulled away for the Knights.
The Panthers outscored Bishop O’Connell 19-9. Pittsburgh commit Corey Manigault scored 15 points and collected 14 rebounds. 5-star forward VJ King led the team in scoring with 21 points. Besides the win against Bishop O’Connell, Paul VI beat teams like Word of God Christian Academy (NC.), and Cesar Chavez.
Just like Paul VI, St. John’s is undefeated at the start of the season with an 4-0. The last game they played was against Bishop Ireton where the Cadets won 67-51. St. John’s started the game off strong by ending the first quarter with a 18-5 advantage. Anthony Cowan led the team in scoring with 19 points. Dejuan Clayton and Kylia Sykes had 13 points a piece. In the four games St. John’s have played, they averaged 75.2 points per game.
Players to Know
VJ King (Paul VI) senior, forward, No. 13- The Louisville signee is making an early case for himself as WCAC Player of the Year. Just three games into the season, King is averaging 29 points per game. Standing at 6 foot 6, VJ King has great size for a perimeter wing player. He has solid ball handling skills and is a good shooter from the three point line or the mid-range. When Paul VI played Word of God, he went for 35 points and 10 rebounds. Before that, he scored 31 points against Cesar Chavez. One thing to take note of is VJ King is getting to the free throw line. King went to the line 14 times against Bishop O’Connell and 20 when he played Word of God.
Anthony Cowan (St. John’s) senior, guard, No. 1- Anthony Cowan is one of the top players in the conference and another player that can make a run at the WCAC Player of the Year title. The Maryland signee is known for being a quick and aggressive guard that can score the ball very well. Last season he led the WCAC in scoring with 20 points per game. He is averaging about 17. 6 points per game so far this year.
Corey Manigault (Paul VI) senior, center, No. 11- Corey Manigault is a four-star power forward/center according to ESPN and 247sports.com. Manigault is 6 foot 8 and weighs about 225 lbs. He’s a player with a lot of potential. Corey is a good rebounder and is showing that he can score as he is averaging 11.6 points per game.
Jeff Dowtin (St. John’s) senior, guard No. 11- Jeff Dowtin along with his teammate Anthony Cowan Jr., St. John’s has one of the best backcourts in the conference. Dowtin is a solid scorer especially from behind the arc. This season he is averaging 13.3 points per game.
Matchup to Watch
It will be interesting to see the point guard matchup between Paul VI’s Aaron Thompson and St. John’s Anthony Cowan. Aaron Thompson is not a scorer like Cowan but he does other things that made colleges around the country look at him. Thompson is a good ball handler and he can create plays for his teammates. Defense is another thing Aaron does well. His defense will decide the type of game Anthony Cowan will have.
Paul VI beats St. John’s by four.
Ryan McFadden is a freshman at Iona College and alumni from DeMatha Catholic High School. He is the founder of Inside The Locker Room and sports writer for the Ionian. You can follow him on Twitter @lockerroom2015
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