DeMatha (MD) took on Gonzaga (DC) in a rematch of last years WCAC championship. Last night’s game ended the same way the championship ended as the Purple Eagles beat the Stags 73-70.
The Stags started the game on a 10-2 run and ended the first quarter with a 15-11 lead. But Gonzaga flipped the script and outscored DeMatha 25-13 in the second quarter and had a 36-28 advantage going into the half. After that point, DeMatha spent most of the basketball game trying to find a way to come back. Led by Markelle Fultz, DeMatha crawled back to cut Gonzaga’s lead to 50-48 at the end of the third.
With under two minutes left in the game, Markelle Fultz hit a floater off a spin move to give DeMatha a 64-63 lead. The lead didn’t last long. A couple of big plays offensively and defensively helped Gonzaga come away with the win and send a crowd filled with DeMatha fans home disappointed.
Gonzaga went to the free throw line quite a bit. The Purple Eagles were 25-31 from the free throw line. When DeMatha was sent to the line, they struggled putting the ball into the basket. The Stags shot 58% from the free throw line.
The biggest play of the game came from Gonzaga’s guard Chris Lykes. With 31 seconds left in the fourth quarter, DeMatha had a 67-65 lead. Lykes knocked down a huge three point basket to give Gonzaga a 68-67 lead. On the other side of the court, DeMatha had a chance to take the lead but DJ Harvey’s shot was blocked by Gonzaga’s Nicky Miller.
Chris Lykes (Gonzaga)- Once again, Gonzaga guard Chris Lykes continued to show he is one of the top scorers in the area and that he can play in big moments. Lykes scored his teams first five points and had a total of 17 first half points. In the second half, he continued to be a problem from DeMatha. Lykes scored 13 points in the second half and finished the game with a team leading 30 points. Chris was solid shooting three ball and converted on some clutch baskets to help his team win. Besides shooting, Lykes was aggressive at getting to the rim and going to the free throw line a lot. He was 11-14 from the line.
Nicky Miller (Gonzaga)- Nicky Miller was a spark off the bench for Gonzaga. Miller scored 12 points in the win. He made big defensive play during the closing seconds of the game when he blocked DJ Harvey shot that would have given DeMatha the lead.
Markelle Fultz (DeMatha)- Even though DeMatha loss, the McDonalds American was very impressive. The Washington signee led DeMatha with 21 points. When it comes to scoring, Fultz didn’t do much until the second half. In the fourth quarter, Markelle scored 10 points and made some big plays to get DeMatha back into the game. Fultz rebounded the basketball well offensively and defensively. In the early minutes of the third quarter, Markelle had four rebounds. He also converted a couple of put back layups.
Ryan Allen (DeMatha)- This season, combo guard Ryan Allen is making the most out of his first year as a starter on DeMatha’s varsity squad. Allen has developed into a very solid guard with a lot of potential. In last night’s game, Allen scored 19 points and had a good night shooting from behind the arc. Ryan has shown he can make defenders pay when they leave him open.
DeMatha: The Stags holds a 16-3 record and a 8-1 record in the WCAC. Right now DeMatha is the No. 8 team in the nation according to USA Today but expect them to go down in the rankings. Their next game will be against Good Counsel on Friday.
Gonzaga: With the win over DeMatha, Gonzaga is 15-2 and 7-1 in the conference. They will play Archbishop Carroll at home on Friday.
Ryan McFadden is a freshman at Iona College and alumni from DeMatha Catholic High School. He is a sports writer for the Ionian and founder of Inside The Locker Room. Follow him on Twitter @RMcFadden15.
Follow Inside The Locker Room on Twitter @lockerroom2015.
*All stats are from the Washington Post.