Big 3 in control for Guardians; SPM slices through Patriot zone.
WORCESTER - When St. Peter-Marian's trio of Matt Mobley, Steve Flynn and Brian Foley get going at the same time, the No. 2 Guardians turn into one of the most unstoppable teams around.
That's what happened yesterday at North High as their big three combined for 55 points, powering SPM to a 31-point lead in the first half en route to a 69-41 victory over Burncoat High in the quarterfinals of the inaugural Worcester City Boys' Basketball Tournament.
Mobley, the leading scorer in Central Mass., poured in a game-high 23 points, followed by Foley's 18 and Flynn's 14.
SPM coach Marcus Watson said he knows what a luxury he has in his star swingman, a deep frontcourt and a host of options at guard.
"Maybe somebody can match up with Steve, someone can match up with Matt, but they can't match up with everyone," Watson said.
St. Peter-Marian (16-4) advanced to face South High in a semifinal at 3:30 p.m. tomorrow. Burncoat (8-11) will face Main South in a consolation game at noon.
"I'm so happy to take part in this tournament," Watson said. "Through all the tradition of the city, there's never been a true city champion, so we want to be the first one."
"We want to be the first ones to have our names on that plaque," Mobley said.
SPM had little trouble dealing with the Patriots' 2-3 zone, jumping to a 9-2 lead three minutes in, while getting an early spark from attack-minded guard Kevin Riley.
"We knew they were going to come out hard, come out fast," Mobley said. "We had to match their intensity and we just kept it up."
After a hoop in the paint by Burncoat junior Devon Sicard (10 points), the Guardians scored nine straight points, going ahead, 18-4, on an alley-oop from Tre Watson to Mobley, who elevated to slam it home.
Sophomore Patrick Sullivan broke up the run with a 3 from the right corner, but Mobley responded with a trey of his own to give SPM a 21-7 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Mobley's 3 started a 20-0 run for the Guardians.
"We just wanted to get the ball inside and we knew that Burncoat was not going to give up," Foley said.
The Guardians led, 40-11, out of the break, and back-to-back baskets inside by Foley and a put-back from Mobley made it 46-13, their biggest lead of the game.
Burncoat junior Carl Evans scored 16 of his team-high 18 points in the second half.