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Notre Dame knocks off St. Patrick thanks to late run

The two man operation of Notre Dame turned into a symphony for the Dons that proved too much for St. Patrick.

Junior guard Lucas Simon scored a team-best 14 points as visiting Notre Dame used a decisive 9-0 fourth-quarter run in holding off the Shamrocks 54-50 in East Suburban Catholic play Friday night in Chicago.

Leading Notre Dame scorer Joe Mooney (nine points) was held without a basket until midway through the fourth quarter. Junior power forward Ammar Becar was held to single digits for the first time, finishing with nine points and seven rebounds.

The collective power of the Dons (7-1, 2-0) carried the night.

“They’re a very well coached team and they obviously scouted us well and knew who our scorers were,” Notre Dame coach Tom Les said.

St. Patrick senior guard Nick Coleman drilled six 3-pointers in scoring a season-high 24 points. He scored 19 points in the second half and led a surging Shamrocks’ team with a 11-point burst in just over a minute and a half that cut the nine-point deficit to two points in the closing seconds.

Adrian Pierzchanowski scored all eight of his points in the second half for the Shamrocks (6-3, 0-2). His deep 3-pointer from the left wing pulled the Shamrocks to within 52-50 with 13.3 seconds remaining.

Twice Notre Dame called time out to avoid a five-second call. Les also wanted to see how the Shamrocks defended the in-bounds play. With St. Patrick pressing full court, Mooney caught the baseball pass from Becar for the finishing layup.

“We hit them and they hit us back and they we hit them but I think the difference was their early lead was hard for us to come all the way back from,” Coleman said.

St. Patrick managed just 15 first-half points in falling behind 23-15 at the break.

“The last couple of games we have been struggling early with offense and our shots just not falling,” Coleman said.

Notre Dame had too much versatility and depth. The 6-4 Simon used his size and ability off the dribble in sharply attacking the basket.

“That’s really what I like to do, floaters and shots at the rim,” Simon said. “Theft were face guarding the whole game and making Joe into a screener and I guess I just stepped up and made shots,” he said.

Junior 6-5 wing forward Donte Washington contributed eight points and seven rebounds for the Dons, his length and explosion off the floor creating match up difficulties for the Shamrocks.

“I knew they weren’t as strong as us and I just wanted to go hard to the glass,” he said.

Bobby Cesario also drilled a crucial 3-pointer as Notre Dame broke a 37-37 tie with just over six minutes remaining with the 9-0 burst.

“They made some huge threes down the stretch but we had the advantage inside and we were able to finish some things,” Les said.

Duncan White added 12 points for St. Patrick.