The Carroll Times

The Student News Site of Archbishop John Carroll High School

The Carroll Times

The Carroll Times

Shorthanded Pats fall to Ryan

Michael Livingston
Carroll loses to Ryan on the Raiders’ court.

It would have been easy for the Pats to give up. 

On the heels of an embarrassing loss at the hands of defending Philadelphia Catholic League runner-up Neumann-Goretti, along with the news of the loss of star freshman big-man Munir Grieg, it would have been easy for the Archbishop Carroll varsity boys basketball team to throw the towel in and simply look ahead to Monday’s matchup with Saint Joe’s Prep, but that’s not what happened. Instead, the Pats fought neck and neck with the Raiders, eventually falling in a gritty contest to Archbishop Ryan, 53-46. 

“We had defensive intensity, we weren’t turning the ball over and it was the complete opposite of Neumann,” said head coach Francis Bowe. “They came ready to play and I was proud of how we executed early.”

In the first period, the Pats held Ryan — the Catholic League favorites — to only six points while scoring 15 of their own. Guards Ian Williams (‘26) and Darrell Davis (‘27) controlled the offensive pace and kept the game moving at Carroll’s speed, something the Pats severely struggled with against Neumann on Monday. 

The turnover ratio was another huge factor in Carroll’s early success. The team disrupted nearly all Ryan’s passing lanes while also snatching the ball away with double teams in the lane. 

“I feel like we handled our pressure better this time,” said sophomore forward Luca Foster. “We did better with our guards, Ian was handling the ball very well and we’re getting a lot better with our defensive pressure.”

Ryan began to pull closer in the second quarter as Carroll struggled to get to the rim at the same clip they did in the first quarter. It was, however, a thin bench that really made for a slug fest from the Pats as the game progressed. 

With the loss of Munir Grieg to a right foot injury, sophomore forward Drew Corrao was thrown into the mix in the starting lineup. This decision, however, came against one of the best big men in the league in Ryan’s Thomas Sorber, who is committed to Georgetown. Sorber, who is the favorite to win Catholic League MVP, stands at an imposing 6 feet 10 inches tall and makes for a tough matchup for just about anyone in high school basketball, even though he is a sophomore making just his second start of the season. 

Corrao isn’t just any sophomore, however. The 6 foot 9 inch tall forward holds Division One offers from the University of Albany and High Point University. He also has served mainly as the team’s sixth man behind Greig and Foster, who both hold Division One offers as well and are known for their dominating offense in the paint. Corrao did, however, have a nice night, posting nine points and a rebound while being tasked with going up with Sorber. 

“I just wanted to come out and play aggressive,” said Corrao. “I had a little less weight on him so I was trying to get around him and I was really focusing on defense and just trying to stop him since he is their best scorer.”

With Grieg’s immediate future in doubt, it appears supporters can expect a healthy dosage of Corrao in the coming weeks as the Pats get into the meat of their Catholic League schedule. 

“It’s just awesome,” said Bowe. “He needed this one, because we need to get him playing. He needs to get some confidence going. I thought this was a huge confidence boost for him and I thought he showed really, really well.”

Nonetheless, as the second half progressed, the slim lead Carroll held slipped away. A clear lack of energy, stemming from a one-man bench, hurt them severely. 

The offense grappled with finding open looks and began to get back to some old habits with lackadaisical turnovers time and again. On defense, reality caught up to the Pats as Sorber turned into the nightmare everyone knows him to be for opposing clubs. The Raiders center was fed by his teammates time and again in the paint, where he’d either simply lay one in or draw a shooting foul and head to the line to drain a pair of free throws. 

Ryan would use Sorber down to the final whistle as Carroll tried to intentionally foul to regain possession in the final minutes. The Ryan center would ice the game with a few sets of free throws, all but sealing a tight loss for the Pats. 

With the loss, Carroll falls to 7-4 on the season and has a 0-2 mark in the PCL. The team now sits on a four-game losing streak as it heads to St. Joe’s Prep on Monday (7 PM) for another heavyweight bout with yet another Catholic League favorite.

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