Jack Sullivan (pictured right) and Kevin Degnan (pictured below) are both stars.
Sullivan would get the best of Degnan though as Albertus Magnus topped Pearl River 58-56.
In the first quarter alone Sullivan (30 points) had 14 of Albertus’ 19 points while Degnan (30 points, 13 rebounds) had seven point and seven rebounds.
The difference between these two teams would have to come from the other eight players on the court, and while only one other player reached double-digits among the two teams (Thomas Armour had 10 points for Pearl River), it was when the Falcons hit their shots that mattered.
After his hot start in the first quarter Sullivan was held scoreless in the second thanks to quick double-teams coupled with strong defense from Degnan, who marked him for the majority of the quarter.
”(Sullivan) shot the ball really well,” said Pearl River coach Jerry Houston. “We felt like we made him take some tough shots but he really knocked them down. Great night for him.”
Although the Falcons’ were outscored 12-9 in the second, they still held on to the lead without Sullivans’ help, holding a 28-23 advantage at halftime.
“I think we do have a number of guys who can help us,” said Albertus coach Pat McFadden. “Obviously Jack is a tremendous weapon, but the thing about Jack is he is a very good passer too and we’re confident that the shots our guys took were good shots and we made them.”
Late in the third sophomore Christian Conklin would hit a corner 3, his only points of the game, to push the Falcons’ lead back up to six, effectively killing the momentum the Pirates had started to gain.
With just under three minutes left in the game it was another big 3, this one made by Matt Dale (nine points, nine rebounds), that allowed the Falcons to maintain a comfortable lead.
Things got interesting in the final minute-and-a-half as Albertus had an opportunity to ice the game but made only 1 of 6 free throws, all taken by seniors, down the stretch. The Pirates weren’t able to take advantage of the Falcons’ poor free throw shooting as they too struggled at the line and couldn’t capitalize on man-up opportunities late in the game.
“They shoot hundreds of foul shots during the day so I think I’m confident with them getting to the line,” McFadden said. “Hey, anytime you can beat Pearl River at Pearl River, my goodness, it’s a great win. This is a tough place to win.”
Photos courtesy of John Meore/The Journal News. Click here for the complete gallery.