ROSELLE – Chris Silva was determined to make an impact, to make his presence felt.
That’s what first-half foul trouble will do to you.
“When I got my second foul in the first half I was upset,” said Silva, one of Roselle Catholic’s key big men, a senior who will continue playing at South Carolina. “I really wanted to be in the game.”
Roselle Catholic trailed St. Anthony by six at intermission and had yet to really penetrate the paint.
Silva changed that for the Lions by scoring the first points of the second half inside and then a few short moments later took the ball to the basket again, scored, and was fouled, giving Roselle Catholic the lead for good.
“I played with more enthusiasm in the second half,” Silva said. “When I came back in I was just more confident.”
Silva’s 13 points, all coming in the second half, and eight rebounds sparked undefeated Roselle Catholic to a 51-48 triumph over St. Anthony before a sold out crowd of 2,000 Friday night at The Lions’ Den.
“A player like Silva going to the basket gives them such energy,” St. Anthony head coach Bob Hurley said.
The 6-9 power forward completed a conventional 3-point play that was the conclusion of a big 12-0 Roselle Catholic run – without a point from standout senior Isaiah Briscoe in that stretch – midway through the third quarter. The Lions went from being down 23-17 to ahead at 29-23. Silva scored seven of the points, including the game-winning basket that put Roselle Catholic ahead for good at 24-23.
“His second half was big, he had a huge third quarter (scoring nine of his 13 points),” Roselle Catholic head coach Dave Boff said. “We have to get in the paint and score off dribble penetration when we can. We did a better job of that in the second half, with Chris leading the way.”
“This game was important in terms of us winning it,” Silva said. “We want to keep the winning going.”
Roselle Catholic (6-0) trailed by six at the end of the first (13-7) and second (21-15) quarters before outscoring St. Anthony (4-1) 22-8 in the third quarter.
“Everyone just played together in the second half,” Silva said.
The host Lions held on in the end after missing almost all of their free throw attempts in the final eight minutes.
The Kentucky-bound Briscoe led all scorers with a 22-point performance, despite missing all eight of his free throw attempts in the fourth quarter. He came back after making only one of five field goal attempts in the first period.
At one point bridging the third and fourth quarters, Briscoe scored Roselle Catholic’s next 12 points, giving the Lions a 42-32 lead with six minutes to go. That was the first of a game-high six 10-point leads the Lions would have.
“In the beginning we were rushing,” Briscoe said. “I had to be a pro and do what I do. In the second half I had to put the team on my shoulders.”
St. Anthony had one 10-point lead of 17-7 midway through the second quarter following two free throws made by Markis McDuffie, who finished with 14 points.
Leading the Friars in scoring was junior big-man Taurean Thompson, who finished with 16 points, including a 3-pointer from the left side and a jumper from the right – five consecutive points – that pulled St. Anthony within 50-47 with 35 seconds to go.
Tahir Pretlow hit a big free throw with 20 seconds remaining to put Roselle Catholic ahead 51-47.
“For the second straight game our bench guys (Tahir Pretlow, Ganlandou Cisse, David Kameron, Nazroon Reid) did a nice job for us, especially when Chris was in foul trouble,” Boff said.
Jagan Mosely, who finished with 12 points for St. Anthony, scored the game’s final point on a free throw with 3.2 seconds left.
“We were able to move the ball around and showed some signs of where we want to be,” Hurley said. “We hung in there until the end and still had some opportunities.”
Briscoe made two 3-point baskets, the first one giving Roselle Catholic’s its initial lead of 3-2. The second one came on a beautiful fade-away shot from the right side right before the third-quarter buzzer, which gave Roselle Catholic a 37-29 advantage.
Briscoe made seven-of-18 field goal attempts and was six-of-19 from the free throw line.
“We’ll just keep shooting free throws,” Boff said.
St. Anthony went on a 6-0 run to take a 9-3 lead and then scored the first four points of the second quarter for its 17-7 advantage.
Roselle Catholic then came back with a 6-0 run of its own to pull to within 17-13.
“We found out things we need to be better at,” Boff said.
HOOPS FOR TROOPS
BOYS’ BASKETBALL AT ROSELLE CATHOLIC
St. Anthony (4-1) 13 8 8 19 – 48
Roselle Catholic (6-0) 7 8 22 14 – 51
ST. ANTHONY FRIARS (48):
3-Jagan Mosely, 3-0-6-12
35-Taurean Thompson 4-1-5-16
23-Markis McDuffie, 4-1-3-14
13-Idris Joyner, 2-0-0-4
34-Mohamed Bendary, 1-0-0-2
ROSELLE CATHOLIC LIONS (51):
4-Tahir Pretlow, 0-0-1-1
10-Chris Silva 5-0-3-13
11-Asante Gist, 0-0-5-5
1-Isaiah Briscoe, 5-2-6-22
13-Matt Bullock 1-1-1-6
5-Pierre Sarr, 1-0-0-2
44-Ganlandou Cisse, 1-0-0-2