Mount St. Joseph heats up, slays Radnor

SPRINGFIELD — Call it “Bash Wednesday.’

In recent memory, the first two rounds of District One AAAA play have generally been but a formality for Mount St. Joseph Academy, but for about four rough minutes Wednesday, it seemed that wasn’t going to be the case.

The other 28, though, were nothing but Magic.

After taking four minutes just to get on the board, the Mount came out in a flurry against Radnor, using lights-out shooting to overcome ball-control struggles and score the next 19 points and setting the tone for the remainder of their 63-43 win.

“You never want to get off to that kind of start,’ MSJ coach Jon Miller said. “It’s not the first time it’s happened this year, for some reason … I just told our team that we probably more mistakes in today’s game than we’ve had all year.’

“I don’t know if it was a snow day, the fact that it was a 7 o’clock game — we always play our games after school — I don’t know what the case was, but we weren’t focused today,’ Miller went on.

Radnor notched the first eight points of the contest, making it seem like the Magic were going to be in for a fight. Sloppy play — turnovers, missed shots, and missed rebound opportunities — plagued the Mount for the first four minutes of the first quarter.

That’s when something clicked — Mt. St. Joe’s scored the game’s next 19 points, and 30 of the next 35. By the time Radnor got on the board after their initial scoring burst about two minutes into the second, the game’s outcome had largely been decided.

“They’re aggressive,’ Radnor coach Mark Jordan said of the Mount. “They attack the rim, and shot the ball well.’

That they did — MSJ knocked down 50 percent of their shots from the field (22 of 44) and knocked down 13 of 15 from the charity stripe to keep their distance from the Raiders.

After heading into the half up 36-18, the Magic padded their advantage in the third, extending the margin to 49-27 by the end of it, and simply treaded water in the fourth quarter to seal the state-berth clinching win.

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