IC Catholic blanks Westmont in 4th quarter

The first half Friday was one IC Catholic Prep might want to forget.

The last two quarters were a completely different story.

Holding host Westmont scoreless over the final eight minutes, the Knights overcame a sluggish start to post a 43-33 victory in the non-conference affair.

“It was basically just energy,” said ICCP senior Jake Gallagher, who led all players with 16 points. “We really lacked energy in that first half but everyone picked it up. We were moving well (in the second half) and turning our defense into offense.

“We held them to 12 points in the second half. That was all energy; we were all over the ball and there were no second-chance points. We cleaned up the boards.”

Trailing 21-16 at halftime, the Knights (10-7) began the third quarter with an 8-0 spurt, with Andrew Hill scoring four of his 11 points.

The Sentinels would later surge back in front, building the margin back up to many as three before a three-point play from Gallagher knotted the score at 33-apiece heading to the fourth.

In that final period, the visitors outscored Westmont 10-0, with a Hill 3-pointer giving them the lead for good. ICCP forced the Sentinels into more turnovers (six) than field goals made (five) in the second half.

“At the start of the game, we came out with poor energy,” said Hill, who added eight rebounds. “In the second half, after Coach’s (halftime) talk, he hyped us up a lot and we came out with a lot of energy.

“We started converting and it all went up from there.”

The Knights, who moved over to the challenging Chicago Catholic League this year, also got six points from Danny Fromelt.

“We made some adjustments,” said ICCP coach T.J. Tyrrell, whose teams has already gone up against the likes of Brother Rice, Mt. Carmel, Providence and York. “Defensively we picked up the pressure and went to more man-to-man. I thought our guys responded to that well and we did a good job limiting their second-chance opportunities.

“We are always looking to have challenges on our schedule. Obviously this year, we are playing multiple teams who are (ranked) in the top-10 right now. But as long as they stay confident and learn as we go, we should be in a good place come February and March.”

Westmont (12-5) lost its fourth in a row after beginning the year winning 12 of its first 13 games. The Sentinels played without leading scorer Joseph Kone, who was injured early on against Montini in their recent Christmas tournament. Kone is averaging 19 points a game.

Billy McGhie topped the home team with 11 points and five rebounds. Alexander Konoff chipped in with nine points and Malachi Boatright had six.

“We stalled out in the second half,” said Westmont coach Craig Etheridge. “The first half, we kind of controlled the tempo the way we wanted to and our defense was solid.

“We came out in the third quarter and had three or four good possessions to start, got good looks but couldn’t make a shot. And then once we got behind, we struggled to make good decisions.”

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