By, Drew Peltzman
January 19, 2023
TRENTON, N.J.- Trenton Catholic’s freshman guard Isiaiah Gore and quality bench production lead the charge as the Iron Mikes (3-7) took down the undermanned Notre Dame Irish (9-6) on Thursday, 54-48.
From the tip, Trenton Catholic defended with energy and forced turnovers on a consistent basis, leading to multiple opportunities in transition. The speed of guards Isaiah Gore (17 points) and Bryson Amos-Whitfield (12 points) fueled the transition offense.
“That’s what we try to do in general. Try to play hard defense, rebound it, and try to go out in transition,” Trenton Catholic head coach Eric Elliot said. “It was tough getting rebounds with the big guy inside who beat us up pretty good.”
6’7 forward Stesh Mathelier finished with 20 points, 11 of them coming in the third quarter in an attempt to close the eight point deficit Notre Dame found themselves in at halftime. Senior Cale Maxey was tasked with guarding the interior presence, and did a phenomenal job forcing Mathelier into tough shots the entire game. Maxey’s persistence on defense was vital in the fourth quarter, holding Mathelier to four points.
“On the court he does whatever you ask, especially guarding the opponents biggest player night in and night out,” Elliot said of Maxey, who finished with a game-high 13 rebounds. .
The late run from Notre Dame was facilitated by senior guard Chris Vlahos, who scored 12 of his 15 points in the final quarter. It cut down the lead from 11 to 6 and gave the Irish a chance with just seconds remaining on the clock. A clutch block from junior guard Rasaan Washington ended the crunchtime run, and sealed the victory for the Iron Mikes.
Gore leads his team in assists this season as the freshman added five more to the total on Thursday. Fellow freshman Tyler Hammond (6 points) and senior Jewels Davis (7 points) provided critical offense from the bench, and outscored Notre Dame’s reserves 13-4.
Notre Dame was missing a couple players, and lost another when starter Donovan Cottrell left the game in the second quarter with a leg injury. Notre Dame turns its sights to a Saturday night battle against West Windsor-Plainsboro North.