D1 talent abounds as No. 4 John Carroll flips No. 2 Perry Hall, 77-62

Montez Mathis (left) and Immanuel Quickley combined for 51 points to help John Carroll down No. Perry Hall, 77-62.

by Gary Adornato

A near capacity crowd at Harford Community College’s APG Federal Credit Union Arena created an electric atmosphere for a match-up of Top 5 boy’s basketball powers, Tuesday, as No. 2 Perry Hall and No. 4 John Carroll, each armed with a plethora of Division I talent, put on a high-flying, rim rattling affair.

Led by Kentucky bound Immanuel Quickley and future Rutgers star Montez Mathis, John Carroll (7-2) pulled away from the Gators in the second half for a 67-52 win.

Mathis, who led all scorers with 26 points, and Quickley, who netted 25, combined for 51 points, including 22 in the fourth quarter to help the Patriots put the game away.

“That’s what those two guys do,” said John Carroll coach John Zitto. “That’s expected. I thought it was important for us to get to the line and attack these guys. They got in foul trouble early and I thought that was going to be key for us, keeping that foot on the pedal.”

For one, Mathis is thrilled to have Quickly back in the lineup.

“It feels real good getting Immanuel back on the court with me,” said Mathis who carried the burden of leading the team as Quickly missed the first month of the season recovering from mononucleosis. “He makes the game 100% easier for me. All I have to do is rebound and run my lane when I know he is going to get me.”

Perry Hall (1-2), which was paced by 24 points from senior Laquill Hardnett, scored the first eight points of the third quarter to slice a nine-point halftime deficit to one. After John Carroll gradually stretched the lead back to five, Perry Hall cut it to one again, on back-to-back baskets by junior Anthony Walker, before JC scored the final six points of the quarter to lead 52-45 at the end of three quarters.

Hardnett opened the fourth quarter with a two-handed jam which pulled the Gators within five, but that was as close as they would get. The Patriots scored the next 10 points to ignite a 16-4 run which gave John Carroll it’s biggest lead of the night, at 68-51.

Both teams felt they benefitted from the intense non-league challenge as well as the opportunity to play in front of the big crowd.

“We had a lot of fun playing in it,” said Quickley. “The crowd was great, energy was great, but we just want to focus and get back to the basics and try to get the BCL championship.”

“This is a great facility. We need to do more events like this,” said John Carroll coach John Zitto. “The atmosphere was college-like for sure. It was a great early test for us, but you have to put your guys in situations like this and atmospheres like this. I have never been involved in a high school game like that. That was special.”

Zitto discussed the challenge presented by Perry Hall and its twin towers Hardnett and Anthony Higgs.

“They have some good players and they have some big guys who can do a lot of things,” added Zitto. “They can shoot the ball, put it on the floor and create a lot of mismatch problems. One of things we wanted to make sure we did was guard the three-point line and our guys did a good job of that.”

Perry Hall also got 12 points each from Anthony Walker and Tyler Holley, but just eight from Ole Miss recruit Higgs. Despite the setback, Perry Hall coach George Panagetou felt his team will benefit from this contest.

“Quickley and Montez are great players and their other guys made shots when they had to,” said Panagetou. “They are a tough team. We knew it was going to be hard. We expected to win, but they beat us tonight and we just look to get better and bounce back.

“The hardest thing for the guys who are returning is that we only lost two games all last year and we’ve already matched that. It’s not about now. We tasted the top of the mountain last year in March and our goal is to repeat. Playing these games and getting battle tested is going to help us moving forward.”

PH  17   9  19  17    62
JC  19  16  17  25    77
PERRY HALL: Hardnett 24, Higgs 8, Holley 12, Walker 12, Cloude 4, Gravette 2. TOTALS: 22 15-20 62.
JOHN CARROLL: Mathis 26, Quickley 25, Haughton 8, Ismail 4, Craig 4, Byers 2, Gultekin 4. TOTALS: 28 20-24 77.