Kehler on Hoops: Nativity 80 Mount Calvary Christian 58- wrap

Written by: on Wednesday, March 16th, 2022



In a game that was not as close as the final score suggests, Nativity BVM defeated Mount Calvary Christian 80-58 in a PIAA Class 1A state championship quarterfinal game at Reading on Tuesday night in the first game of a doubleheader. Nativity jumped out to a big early lead and led by 30 points late in the first half. Hard-trying Mount Calvary trailed for the entire game and had great difficulty checking Nativity’s multifaceted attack.

Nativity, the defending PIAA Class 1A state champion, has size, speed, outside shooting, unselfish teamwork, veteran players, and very capable coaching. That is a formidable array of assets for a high school basketball team, and every facet of their arsenal was on display in this contest. The game was really over after just a few minutes of play, as Nativity’s uptempo attack and strength inside were too much for Mount Calvary to stop. In particular, Mount Calvary did not have an answer for Nativity’s Marquis Ratcliff, a 6′ 6″ senior who was a Class 1A all state selection the past two seasons. Ratcliff finished with 33 points and had a dozen rebounds.

At the outset of the game, Nativity just played too fast for Mount Calvary, and the Pottsville squad jumped to a 22-4 lead behind their blitz attack. Nativity’s first 22 points came on a hoop inside by 6′ 7″ senior Justin Sickle, a fast break layup by 6′ 2″ senior Cody Miller, another hoop by Sickle, a score inside by Ratcliff, a free throw by Sickle, a fast break layup by Ratcliff, a hoop inside by Sickle, an ally-oop by Ratcliff on an inbounds play, a three pointer by 6′ 1″ senior Jack Miller, a push shot by Ratcliff, and a hoop inside by 6′ 3″ senior Ben Sipes. The diversity of Nativity’s offensive weapons and the speed of the game overwhelmed Mount Calvary. Mount Calvary’s bench might have tried some things to blunt Nativity’s momentum and to slow the pace of the game.

Nativity scored a whopping 52 points in the first half of this contest. Another indication of Mount Calvary’s defensive difficulties was that Nativity attempted 14 free throws in the first half, sinking 10 of them. Nativity slowed their offense noticeably in the second half, and they were actually outscored, 35-28, by Mount Calvary in the final 16 minutes of the game. The slower pace gave Mount Calvary more of a chance to compete, but they never really threatened.

Nativity had a 37 to 32 rebounding edge, Nativity committed 10 turnovers to 11 for Mount Calvary. Nativity was 20 of 26 from the free throw line, while Mount Calvary was six of nine. Nativity made six three pointers, four by Jack Miller and one each by Ratcliff and 6′ 2″ senior Cody Miller. Mount Calvary made eight three pointers, four by junior Evan Dumaine, three by senior Noah Butler, and one by sophomore Avery Kopcha. There were no ties and no lead changes.

Nativity BVM scoring: Marquis Ratcliff 33, Jack Miller 18, Justin Sickle 10, Cody Miller 9, Ben Sipes 6, Ty Kaunas 2, and Julius Walborn 2.

Mount Calvary Christian scoring: Avery Kopcha 18, Evan Dumaine 16, Noah Butler 9, Reagan Mummau 8, Brett Taylor 3, Wyatt Lamb 2, and Andre Cooper 2.

Mount Calvary Christian 8 15 21 14-58
Nativity BVM 27 25 16 12-80

Nativity, now 22-6, advances to the PIAA Class 1A final four, where they will play St. John Neumann Regional Academy, from Williamsport, on Friday at a time and place to be determined. Mount Calvary Christian’s excellent season concludes with a record of 27-3.

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