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Seton Academy coach Brandon Thomas knew he had to make a change after his team’s triple-overtime loss to St. Ignatius on Wednesday. That change was subjecting 6-foot-6 forward Johnny Patterson to the bench Friday night against visiting Loyola.
Patterson accepted the move with grace and made the most of it when his name was finally called during his team’s come from behind 50-44 Catholic League win.
The senior scored 10 points in a reserve roll and helped his team overcome a disastrous 17-4 first quarter deficit. More important, he brought some much needed energy when his team needed it the most.
“My starters didn’t bring the energy we needed to start the game,” Thomas said. “We have to come out of the locker room and bring the game to us. My bench played big tonight, they give us instant energy, and they were good defensively for us.
“We challenged them and told them if they want to play more it starts with energy.”
That bench outscored the Ramblers (6-2, 2-1) 16-2 behind Patterson and Armahn Mooring, who poured in the other six for the Sting (6-5, 3-1). Kamal Shasi led the Sting with 13 points and six rebounds, while Mark Weems Jr. added 10.
Jack Morrissey had 17 for the Ramblers, including 15 -- all on three pointers -- in the second half. James Clarke had nine of his 10 in the first half.
“Jack is our full-time scorer; full-time scorer,” Loyola coach Tom Livatino repeated. “So far he has to understand that more and more. Yes, he can shoot the ball, but he has to do that for two halves. He’s played some unbelievable halves this year but he has to string that together for a full game.”
The Ramblers were able to string together that dominating first quarter, led by a pair of three pointers by Clarke, who is just back after suffering a concussion. That lead was 24-11 midway through the second before the Sting closed the half with a 12-2 run behind balanced scoring to close within 26-23.
Morrissey’s three three-pointers in the third kept the Sting at bay 36-32 heading into the final 8 minutes. A 10-0 run to start the fourth gave the Sting their first lead of the game. After two more Morrissey three’s tied the game at 42-42, the Sting picked it up on defense and made 6-of-8 free throws to end the game with a decisive 8-2 run.
“I’m really proud of Johnny, after losing his starting spot, he gave us a huge boost off the bench,” Thomas said.