RADNOR >> The Archbishop Carroll boys basketball team was in the second night of a back-to-back Wednesday night at Archbishop Carroll High School and was facing a feisty Malvern Prep squad that pushed the tempo as fast as possible.
The Patriots led by as little as four points early in the second half, but turned on the jets and won, 76-56, to remain undefeated and improve to 7-0 this season.
“We did a little bit better of a job in the second half defensively and I thought we were a little more poised offensively,” Carroll coach Paul Romanczuk said. “The way (Malvern plays) – it’s difficult – not many other teams play like that. Other teams don’t play nearly as hard as they play and it’s tough. I don’t think our guys truly understood what they were in for tonight, especially after playing (Tuesday) night.
“It’s constant pressure. It’s constant sprinting up and down the court. It’s really unlike any other style of basketball around here. It takes a little getting used to and I think maybe we needed a half to realize that we are in for a dog fight if we don’t sprint up and down the court and match the intensity of how hard those guys play.”
“(Malvern) plays really hard, really fast,” senior Ryan Daly said. “We took them for granted. We thought they were going to lay down like a couple other teams we’ve played and they didn’t lay down. Once we woke up, we turned up the pressure and tried to build the lead as big as we could.”
John Rigsby led Carroll with 27 points, Daly added 25 and Josh Sharkey totaled 15.
“Those guys are our leaders,” Romanczuk said. “They make sure that if we need a bucket or if we need a big play – they’ve been there to provide it. They have been great senior leaders and I couldn’t ask for much more.”
Daly scored 11 of his 25 in the first quarter and 17 in the first half.
“I think just transition and finishing,” Daly said of his early success. “I missed a couple that I should have made, but just running the floor and being active. Good things happen when you bring energy to the team like John (Rigsby). He brought energy, we all brought energy. I was happy to pick my spots when I got open and I was able to make some shots early on.”
Daly’s biggest basket came at the buzzer before halftime. Rigsby lobbed an inbounds pass to Daly with just more than two seconds remaining before the break. The senior heading to the University of Hartford wrestled the ball away from a Malvern defender and drilled a straight-on three-pointer to turn a 35-30 lead into an eight-point advantage at the intermission.
“(Rigsby) wanted to get me the ball because I had the hot hand,” Daly said. “I went up, caught the ball and just tried to make a play. Luckily the ball bounced in.”
The Friars (3-5) kept the game tight for a while with their aggressive play and three-point shooting. Malvern made 20 field goals in the game, nine of which came from beyond the arc.
Will Powers led the Friars in scoring with 16 points and O’Shaan Allison and Tommy Wolfe each added 11.