SPRINGFIELD >> In front of a capacity crowd at La Salle College High School, the hometown Explorers started the 2019 portion of the season with a dominant 58-35 Philadelphia Catholic League victory over previously unbeaten Bishop McDevitt.
Both teams entered the new year with identical records as each team won its first 10 games to start the season.
The Explorers shocked both fan bases after their defense held the Lancers down to only two points to gain an 18-2 lead after the first quarter.
La Salle head coach Mike McKee was also surprised with his defense shutting down a tough Bishop McDevitt offense in the first quarter.
“I knew that we had to focus from a defensive stand point,” said McKee. “McDevitt had some strong guys inside, so I thought we were really strong on defense tonight.”
The Explorers later outscored the Lancers 14-11 in the second quarter to gain a 19-point lead at halftime.
As a team, La Salle had five three-point shots including two from Allen Powell and Titus Beard each respectively.
Both Powell and Beard finished the first half with 10 points before becoming the highest scoring players in the game.
“I was just trying to stay focused and poised because I knew there was going to be a big crowd,” said Beard. “I didn’t want to get caught by the crowd. I just wanted to stick to the game plan that coach gave us and get the big win.”
“The huge crowd definitely gave me a big power boost,” added Beard. “It also gave me a lot more energy.”
Beard finished the game with 20 points, which was the most out of all players in the game.
Powell finished the game 16 points, which was the second most points out of all players.
“I didn’t expect getting a big lead after the first quarter,” said Powell. “We just got a lot of energy from the crowd and we used that to get the big lead.”
Head coach McKee was thrilled with how Powell and Beard played in the big win.
“I liked how Beard played in the first half especially when he laid it down for a layup,” said McKee. “The fact that Beard and Powell are playing selflessly when they do a lot of different things and that’s what makes them good players.”
Bishop McDevitt looks to bounce back from its first loss of the season when it hosts Cardinal O’Hara Sunday.
La Salle College looks to improve to 12-0 on the year when it travels to Conwell-Egan Sunday.
La Salle College HS 58, Bishop McDevitt 35
BM 2 11 14 8 -35
LSC 18 14 16 10 -58
Bishop McDevitt (35)
Smith 13; Young 8; Manigo 7; Gardner 2; Willoughby 2; Mosely 2; Greenberg 1.
La Salle College HS (58)
Beard 20; Powell 16; Crisler 11; Kiszka 8; Timby 3.