Pirates Beat Oratory, Fall to St. Peter’s

The thirteenth-ranked Pirates faced the Rams of Oratory Prep inside Tracey Gymnasium on March 4. Coming off a disappointment in the Essex County Tournament finals, The Prep looked to make a statement as the seventh seed in the North Non-Public A state tournament. The Rams were 11-11 coming into the game and were the tenth seed. The Pirates had a huge Pirate Nation behind them, possibly the biggest of the season. Like many of their other games this season, the Nation would help lead the Pirates to an easy win.

The Pirates would get out to an early lead in the first quarter. With tight defense and a well-run offense, the Prep had everything going on both ends. Steals led to easy breakaway layups and open three-point attempts. The Pirates would have 13 steals throughout the night, a giant number compared to their 3 against Immaculate Conception. The steal-leader for the team was Michael Curran ‘20 with 6. Their suffocating defense that had propelled them throughout the season returned this game after not showing up in the Essex County final. The quarter would end with a score of 19-6

With the game seemingly in hand, the starters did not play the start of the second quarter. After a tough start that saw the Rams cut the lead inside ten, however, the starters returned. This was a much better quarter for Oratory as they were able to improve on both ends. Their three pointers started to go in and good ball movement allowed them to get buckets inside. Their inability to stop the Pirates, however, kept the lead sizable. The Prep got everything they wanted down-low and from the free throw line. The Prep had 14 free throw attempts throughout the game, making 11 of them. The quarter would end with a score of 34-18.

The third and fourth quarters were more of the same for both teams. The Pirates outscored the Rams in each quarter of the game. The Prep would outscore the Rams 21-14 in the third and 21-9 in the fourth. As the lead expanded in the second half, the starters were taken out of the game and new players were able to get on the board. Denis Murphy ’20 and Colin Flaherty ’20 were able to get points in their final home game and Myles Thomason ’22, who had one, was able to score just his sixth point of the season. The Pirates would win the game by a massive 35 points, 76-41.

The momentum from this game, unfortunately, did not help the Pirates in their next state game. In the quarterfinal of the tournament, The Prep fell to the seventh-ranked and second-seeded Marauders of Saint Peter’s Prep. Despite big games by Mason Morial ‘20 and Giye Jenkins ‘21, who scored 18 and 14 points respectively, the Pirates were unable to outscore the high-powered Marauders offense. The Pirates fell in this game 55-49. This defeat put an end to a great season for The Prep basketball. The season included a 14 game win streak, an Essex County Tournament finals appearance, and a first round win in the states. Although the ending of this season is certainly disappointing, the future is still bright for the program with players like Giye Jenkins ‘21 and Cole McGonigal ‘21 returning for their final season next year.