By: Jordan Hirsh
January 18th, 2023
TRENTON, NJ. – The Nottingham North Stars picked up their 5th straight win over Notre Dame Tuesday Night, defeating the Irish 75-67. The win improved Nottingham’s overall record to 9-4, and their conference record to 5-3, while dropping Notre Dame to 9-5 overall, and 6-2 in conference play.
The Irish were without their 6’8” center, D-1 commit Stesher Mathelier, who was out with an illness. They certainly missed Mathelier’s presence on both sides of the floor, but especially on the defensive end. Coming into the game, the Irish were atop the CVC in opponent’s points per game, allowing around just 44 per contest. Without Mathelier, Nottingham was able to get pretty much whatever they wanted down low all night.
Notre Dame’s outside shooting kept them in the game early as they knocked down three of four threes in the 1st quarter and took an 18-16 lead into the break. However, it was all Nottingham after that.
Something the North Stars focus on is speeding up games by getting out on the fast break. They certainly did that in the 2nd as they exploded for 20 points in the quarter, including 10 from junior guard Donte Alexander. It seemed that every Notre Dame miss was leading to fast break points for Nottingham as they built a 36-25 lead at halftime.
The 2nd half was more of the same. With Mathelier out, the Irish were forced to try to shoot their way back into the game. This approach proved unfruitful, however, as Notre Dame shot just two of ten from beyond the arc after halftime.
In the meantime, Nottingham was able to continuously get easy looks at the rim and boosted their lead to 67-51 with 3:37 to play after an unreal chase down block by senior guard JP Dickerson led to an easy layup at the other end.
Talking about the block, Dickerson said, “I just play my role. I saw [Donovan Cottrell] down there, I just caught up you know. I never give up on a play.”
The Irish would not go down quietly though, as they used a 12-2 run to cut the deficit to six with 1:18 to play. In the end, however, Nottingham’s offense was too much to overcome as the North Stars emerged with a 75-67 win.
JP Dickerson led the way for Nottingham with 20 points and was named player of the game. “That was the objective, to come out here and play our game. I feel like we did that in the second half. The first half we started off slow, but we picked it back up” said Dickerson after the game.
On Friday, the North Stars travel to Lawrence High School to take on the 2-11 Cardinals while the Irish have a home matchup against the 8-5 West Windsor-Plainsboro North Knights.