The Carroll Times

The Student News Site of Archbishop John Carroll High School

The Carroll Times

The Carroll Times

Boys basketball beats Conwell-Egan, 65-48

Basketball fans who are looking for something flashy should not look to Luca Foster.

The Patriots’ star sophomore forward wasn’t even his club’s leading scorer during the Archbishop Carroll varsity boys basketball team’s 65-48 win over Conwell-Egan Friday night. Instead, Foster recorded a modest 12 points and 10 rebounds to earn a double-double.

This is nothing new for Foster, who is averaging 13.4 points and 7.4 rebounds per game for the Pats this year. The young forward isn’t usually the star of the show – he leaves that to teammates like sophomore captain Ian Williams, sophomore forward Nasir Ralls, or freshman guard Darrell Davis, who led the team with 20 points during Friday’s win.

“He just buys into the team, you know?” said Patriots head coach Francis Bowe. “It’s funny … we’re playing against a really good player that Conwell has in Antwone George, and they’re, like, ‘Man, their stats are great,’ and I said, ‘Guys, you know your stats aren’t what you would call great because we share the ball.’ Out of everyone on the team, [Foster] has believed in that motto, like, ‘I don’t need to score 20 but If I have that ability then I’m going to go and do it,’ He believes in his players and he believes in sharing the ball and he is doing a great job.”

Sharing the ball was something Foster probably would’ve wanted nothing to do with last season. As a freshman, the now-starting forward was just a swing guy, treading water on the bottom of the varsity bench while struggling to find consistent JV minutes. The forward had to look for any and all opportunities to get his hands on the basketball.

“My freshman year, I felt a little discouraged because I was behind them seniors,” said Foster. “I really didn’t touch the floor on varsity but I played JV and even then I didn’t play the whole JV game. I didn’t really get a lot of time to play basketball for Carroll but I always stayed positive, of course. I worked my tail off, I feel, and then when I got to sophomore year and AAU season I started elevating and then when I came into my high school season for Carroll we started playing together and I feel like I started hooping a lot better.”

With key offseason departures from senior forwards Blake Deegan and Seamus Rogers along with Su’Meer Alleyne and Jake West, it was clear that Foster, among others, was going to see heavy increases in playtime. Coming into the season and through the offseason, however, a lot of work was still to be done for the Division One recruit.

“He is so versatile,” said Bowe. “Last year he was just an uber athlete. Now he has confidence in his shot with a soft touch, can play the two, can play the three. Honestly, he is a Swiss Army knife and can play two through five, and it’s nice to have that versatility, to have a guy who can do that. But just his willingness to get into the gym over the offseason, just, you know, ‘Coach, can I get into the gym?’ ‘Can we get into here?’ and he is training at this gym and he put into 18 hours days all summer and its paid off and it’s the reason why he is getting recruited so heavily.”

The sophomore Foster already garnered offers from Saint Joe’s, Temple, and Penn State as he continues to power through his second year of high school basketball.

Foster left his mark on the Pats’ Friday night win from the jump. As Carroll jumped out to an early advantage in the first quarter, Foster pulled in seven rebounds in the period alone as his team held a 22-10 lead after one. The Eagles powered  back in the second period. However, it was none other than Foster who drained a few big buckets as he got scrappy down low for some athletic lay-ins heading into halftime to keep the Pats at a 30-25 cushion.

“He is so athletic,” said Williams. “He helps me too, like, even when I make a bad play, he is always in my corner for me.”

The game stayed tight through the third period, while Egan preceded to trail close behind to Carroll, which was able to keep the Eagles at arm’s length for the entirety of the night. However, as the fourth period began, the Pats started to pull away, eventually securing a double-digit lead with about four minutes to go. They eventually moved the lead up to nearly 15 with a few free throws and dribbled out the final few minutes of the game.

With the win, the Pats advance to 4-4 in the Philadelphia Catholic League and currently sit in 7th place, tied with Monsignor Bonner while idle to Archbishop Ryan. With five games to go in the Catholic League season, the Pats have a clear path to the postseason. While the chances of the team missing the playoffs are nearly zero, the ever-important seeding arrangements are still to be decided.

The Pats’ next matchup will be Monday against a struggling Cardinal O’Hara team for a 7 PM tip-off in Springfield. This comes before a huge test at Roman Catholic, then a three-game homestand to close out the regular season against bottom feeders Lansdale Catholic and West Catholic along with this season’s surprise contender in Father Judge.

To get into the top six or seven seeds, the Pats will need to take down Lansdale, West, and O’Hara. Bonus wins would come in the form of Roman and Judge. Nonetheless, the next game-up mentality lives on with Carroll as the team prepares to face off with the Lions of Cardinal O’Hara on Monday.

“It’s one game at a time,” says Bowe. “We’ve been Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde all year so stop worrying about big names and worry about the team that’s next – so now its O’Hara, O’Hara, O’Hara.”

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