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McCoy real deal for Cathedral Catholic

02/05/2016, 10:45pm PST
By John Maffei

7-footer helps Dons score league sweep against rival Saints

Cathedral Catholic junior Brandon McCoy finished with 17 points, 15 rebounds and two blocked shots in the Dons’ win over the Saints.

Steve Fisher braved rush-hour traffic heading north, a jammed parking lot and lines at the door that reached 150 deep to see Cathedral Catholic 7-foot junior Brandon McCoy.

What the San Diego State basketball coach witnessed was a battle royale on the low block with McCoy being double- and tripled-teamed.

The Dons big man rose to the occasion, scoring 17 points, grabbing 15 rebounds and blocking a pair of shots as the No. 2-ranked Dons beat archrival and No. 3-ranked St. Augustine 72-61 in a Western League showdown before a standing-room-only crowd Friday night at Cathedral Catholic High.

“This is nothing new,” McCoy said. “St. Augustine has some big guys, but it has been worse in other games.

“And I’ve got the scars to prove it.”

With McCoy drawing all the attention down low, something had to be open, and senior Reid Johnson stepped up. He scored 24 points, hitting four 3-pointers, and grabbed six rebounds.

“St. Augustine had to give up something, and they left Reid open,” Dons coach Will Cunningham said. “He hit some big shots.

“As a team, we played well in the second half. We really picked things up defensively. And this was a crazy environment.”

Cathedral Catholic (16-4, 9-0) led by a point at the half. and by three — 50-47 — after three quarters in a game that was tied seven times with the lead changing hands 11 times in the first 24 minutes.

But a strong fourth quarter, with McCoy scoring seven points and Austin Beech six, propelled the Dons to their first league sweep of St. Augustine since the 2011-12 season.

The Dons won this season’s first game 56-53 at Point Loma Nazarene with McCoy scoring 21 points.

Yale-bound point guard Eric Monroe paced St. Augustine (17-5, 6-2) with 21 points. He also grabbed six rebounds and had six assists.

Jack Peterson added 10 points for the Saints.

St. Augustine played a large part of the game without 6-8 sophomore Taeshon Cherry, who suffered a cut on his face in the second quarter, then rolled his left ankle late in the third quarter, leaving the game and not returning.

Beech added 19 points for the Dons.

“Sweeping St. Augustine is a big deal, but this wasn’t a playoff game,” McCoy said. “It wasn’t for the CIF championship.

“Sure, league games are important, but this is only a step toward winning a CIF title.”

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