CHESTER, Pa. – St. Thomas More got off to a good start in its boys basketball game against Mastery Charter North of Philadelphia, but the Ravens struggled on offense through the middle two periods in a 69-50 loss on Dec. 22. The game was played at Chester (Pa.) High School as part of the Rondae Hollis-Jefferson Classic, which pitted four Delaware schools against Pennsylvania foes.
Sophomore sharpshooter Joshua Hayward was on fire in the first period, draining four three-point shots as the Ravens jumped out to an 18-8 lead after one. Mastery’s only scorer in the opening eight minutes was Jamir Reed, who had two NBA-range triples to go along with a pair of free throws.
St. Thomas More continued its offensive assault early in the second, taking a 24-12 lead at one point, the team’s largest of the afternoon. That was when Mastery, out of Philadelphia, began its comeback. The Pumas scored the next nine points, including another three-pointer from Reed and a pair of Lakeem McAilely free throws.
McAilely proved to be a bigger thorn in the Ravens’ side for his rebounding and shot-blocking than his offense, although the Pumas gladly accepted his six points in the second. As St. Thomas More’s shooting went cold, McAilely snagged rebound after rebound, leading to offensive opportunities for the Pumas. He also made his presence known on the offensive boards, and he scored the final bucket of the first half, which ended with St. Thomas More ahead by a single point at 26-25.
When McAilely found himself on the bench early in the third quarter with foul trouble, the Pumas turned to Tahj Campbell to fill the void. He did not disappoint, scoring eight points down low and providing the rebounding.
The Ravens took a 30-28 on a slicing layup by Alvin West, but that would be their last lead. Harold Daily responded with an old-fashioned three-point play, kicking off a 17-point run during which Campbell and Daily scored all of the points. Hayward ended the streak with his fifth three-pointer, but the Ravens trailed by 13 after three.
St. Thomas More made four more three-point shots in the fourth quarter, but they were unable to contain the Pumas.
Hayward finished with 17 to lead the Ravens (3-2), while West added 15. The team is off until Wednesday, when they play Rome Free Academy (N.Y.) as part of a two-game swing in central New York.
Reed led all scorers with 22. Daily added 18, and Jahir Carpenter also reached double figures for the Pumas with 10.