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St. Patrick's Royale Ewing (25) reacts after scoring during a game against St. Joseph in the Catholic League/East Suburban Catholic Challenge on Saturday, December 15, 2012, at Loyola Academy. | Chandler West~For Sun-Times Media

Royale Ewing admits to always being excited about playing St. Joseph. “They are one of the premier Catholic League programs in the state,” he said.

The senior St. Patrick guard staked his own claim, for his team and his individual brilliance, by scoring 15 of his game-high 26 points in the second half as the Shamrocks overcame an eight-point third quarter deficit to knock out the No. 8 Chargers 61-54 in the Chicago Catholic League/East Suburban Conference Challenge Saturday at Loyola in Wilmette.

Ewing scored seven points during a 15-2 Shamrocks’ run that turned a 36-28 deficit into a 43-38 lead to start the fourth quarter. “I just went out there and played the way I try to every game,” Ewing said.

“I thought the key to the game was our defensive effort in the third quarter, where we really got after them and played tough, aggressive defense,” St. Patrick coach Mike Bailey said.

Senior guard Elijah Watson (11 points) scored seven points in the second half to support Ewing. “Royale was at the free throw line in the third quarter and I told him it was time to put our foot down and take control of the game,” Watson said. “We knew we had to start making them miss shots instead of just hoping they would, and that’s what we started doing.

Senior swingman Keith Langston, a transfer from Young, scored 13 points and added eight rebounds for the Shamrocks. His assist to sophomore Nicholas Coleman on a three-pointer punctuated the third quarter run.

St. Patrick (7-2) forced turnovers on the Chargers’ first two possessions of the fourth quarter, converting them into fast-break lay ups for a 47-38 lead. St. Joseph played an overtime game against Providence Friday night and appeared tired in the second half.

“Mentally we are making too many mistakes to beat these kind of teams,” St. Joseph coach Gene Pingatore said. Senior A.J. Patty picked up two early fouls and was ineffective against the Shamrocks. “We need more from our inside players right now,” Pingatore said.

Junior 6-6 forward Karriem Simmons scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Chargers (5-4), who have lost three of their last four games. Senior Paul Turner contributed 10 points and sophomore guard Glynn Watson added eight points.

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