Senior guard Sese Mobutu was sensational Thursday night, ripping O'Connell for 36 points.

Mobutu’s 36 powers Ireton over O’Connell, 95-82

Bishop Ireton coach Neil Berkman expects his new up-tempo system to help with recruiting. It appears also to be helping the players he already has.

Senior Sese Mobutu hit seven three-pointers on his way to 36 points, as Bishop Ireton took down Bishop O’Connell 95-82 in a WCAC matchup Thursday night in Alexandria.

“My coaches have been telling me to shoot more threes,” Mobutu said after the game. “Before this game I turned down a lot of threes for twos, so today I was thinking about really getting my threes up quickly and trying to help us win.”

That’s the goal in Berkman’s new system which he installed this season–getting quick shots but also good ones. “Good shots are in-rhythm or uncontested; we want either lay-ups or threes,” Berkman explained. “We got there a little bit today–incremental strides on that.”

Mobutu got things going early, connecting on four early three-pointers as Ireton put up an impressive 29 total points in the first quarter alone. The Cardinals forged to a double-digit lead right away but O’Connell would claw its way back, often countering Ireton’s runs with a time out and subsequent run of its own.

O'Connell sophomore guard Paul Lewis gets triple-teamed by the aggressive Cardinal defense.
O’Connell sophomore guard Paul Lewis gets triple-teamed by the aggressive Cardinal defense.

Down 14 in the second quarter, O’Connell cut it to 50-43 at halftime. Then the Knights tied the game at 56 thanks in no small part to the inside play of sophomore center David Onanina, who delivered 12 points and six boards in the third quarter alone. Then Ireton responded with more Mobutu.

The guard drained a three-pointer to break the tie, his first trey since the first quarter, and O’Connell could never get that close to leading again. Mobutu and the Cardinals also started to wear down O’Connell with constant full-court pressure, as well as convert turnovers into high-percentage looks at the rim. The Ireton bench outscored O’Connell’s 18-2–that, and Mobutu, was really the difference in the game.

“Our depth helps,” Berkman said. “We have about six, seven, eight, or more guys that could be in there at the end of the game which is a tremendous luxury for us.”

O’Connell (2-6, 5-10) got some fantastic games from its young starters. Sophomore point guard Paul Lewis had 15 points and eight assists, often to Onanina under the basket. Junior guard Wes Peterson was lights out with 27 points, though he pulled up limp with about three minutes to go and had to come out of the game.

Sophomore Elijah Williams (nine assists) shoots a three from the wing.
Sophomore Elijah Williams (nine assists) shoots a three from the wing.

Sophomore guard Elijah Williams had eight points and nine assists, senior Gustav Chiarello added 14 points and junior Ariel Goddot a double-double for Ireton (2-5, 6-7), which is back at it Sunday in WCAC play against Ryken. It remains to be seen if Ireton can threaten the big boys in the WCAC but it sure seems like the Cardinals will be a fun team to watch in any case.

“More threes in general for our team is what our coaches want,” the as-of-now unsigned Mobutu told us. “Our coaches want us to shoot 40 threes a game.”

“I think our style is exciting,” Berkman added. “I think fans will come out and see it.”

–Chris Jollay

all stats are unofficial

WILLIAMS 2-6 3-4 8 2 9
THOMPSON 1-4 5-6 8 3 1
CHIARELLO 6-12 2-4 14 5 1
GODDOT 5-9 1-4 11 12 1
MOBUTU 13-22 3-4 36 1 2
Boggs 0-1 0-0 0 0 1
Kindle 1-1 0-0 2 4 0
Schirmer 2-5 0-0 6 3 0
Berry 2-7 1-1 7 3 3
Catanzaro 1-3 0-0 3 3 1
Dunklin 0-1 0-0 0 0 0
TOTALS 33-71 15-23 95 36 19
Threes: Mobutu 7-12, Schirmer 2-3, Berry 2-5, Thompson 1-2, Catanzaro 1-3, Williams 1-4
LEWIS 7-16 0-0 15 2 8
SO 2-3 6-6 10 1 3
DUBSKY 3-7 0-0 8 4 2
ONANINA 8-16 4-6 20 16 2
PETERSON 11-18 3-6 27 8 3
Mason 1-2 0-0 2 1 0
Robinson 0-1 0-0 0 2 1
Brown 0-1 0-1 0 0 0
Casserly 0-1 0-0 0 1 0
TOTALS 32-65 13-19 82 35 19
Threes: Dubsky 2-5, Peterson 2-7, Lewis 1-3, So 0-1, Mason 0-1, Brown 0-1