Boys Basketball: St. Rita throttles Marist
By Patrick Z. McGavin For Sun-Times Media February 4, 2014 9:40PM
St. Rita's Vic Law blocks a shot vs. Marist. | Worsom Robinson/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 6, 2014 6:49AM
Charles Matthews is a furtive superstar. People are aware of his talent and ability, but a serious ankle injury and St. Rita’s national schedule have somewhat relegated him to the sideline.
Tuesday night, the wraps came off.
In a game locally telecast, Matthews put on a performance that showed why he’s the state’s top junior prospect and among the highest-ranked players nationally in the Class of 2015.
Matthews scored a game-high 21 points and had five rebounds, two assists, a block and a steal as the host Mustangs built a commanding 29-point lead en route to the 66-47 victory over Marist.
Matthews labeled his health at “85 to 90 percent” after he suffered a serious foot injury in November that caused him to miss the first three weeks of the season. Teaming with his brother, Dominique Matthews, the Mustangs put on a command performance vs. Marist.
Charles Matthews slashed in the lane and pulled up for jumpers. He drilled a three-pointer from the top of the key and hit corner jump shots in converting 8-of-13 shots from the floor. The Matthews brothers combined for 16 points in the first quarter as St. Rita (11-6) raced out to a 21-11 lead.
“I really just tried to let the game come to me and look at how they were trying to defend me,” Charles Matthews said.
He scored 14 points in the first half, including nine points in the opening quarter. Dominique Matthews scored seven of his 15 points in the first quarter.
“After all the injuries we had to start the year, we are really starting to the pieces together as a team,” Dominique Matthews said. “We’ve have been working really hard in practice and learning how to play with each other, off the ball and on the ball.
“We gave them pressure and they couldn’t really take it.”
The second quarter was more of the same. Charles Matthews added five points, and reserve forward Khalen Davis scored six points. Myles Carter, like Charles Matthews rounding into shape after an injury, scored just two points, but it was a spectacular tip-dunk in traffic. He also blocked four Marist shots.
Marist was hurt by its own critical absence, two-sport star Nic Weishar, out with an ankle injury. The RedHawks (15-6) led only once in the game, at 3-2, on a three-pointer by Ryan Tucker (6 points) on the opening possession.
Marist coach Gene Nolan went with a smaller lineup to try to spread out the Mustangs defensively. Guard Kevin Lerma scored a team-best 13 points and Jeremiah Ferguson contributed 12.
The RedHawks had no response to the Mustangs’ depth, talent and athleticism. Northwestern recruit Vic Law scored just six points, though he hauled in a game-high 11 rebounds. In the third quarter, Law brought the partisan house down with a rebound and length-of-the-floor drive he finished with a rim-wrecking dunk.
Charles Matthews ended his night moments later with a steal and dunk that extended the margin to 53-24.
“St. Rita played an outstanding game,” Nolan said. “It’s very difficult to keep the ball in the middle of the floor against them, and when we had to rotate (defensively) to help out, that caused problems rebounding, and they hurt us with the offensive rebounding in the first half.
“We will learn from this game.”
Ken Rivard added five points for the RedHawks.