Senior Hayden Compton fires from distance. (Inji Kang’19/Media editor)
The CA boys basketball team clinched at least a share of its first league title since 2012 after victories over Bishop Ready and Grandview Heights.
With revenge on their minds, the Vikings hosted Bishop Ready on Tuesday, February 5, the squad that sent Academy packing in the postseason last year. The Vikes got their redemption, edging the Silver Knights, 48-44.
The teams traded blows to begin the game, until CA created some separation with a 6-0 run to end the first quarter.
Bishop Ready didn’t blink, as the Silver Knights responded with 8 unanswered points of their own to take a 17-14 lead. The Vikings, powered by senior Hayden Compton, swung back and grabbed a 5-point advantage at the break. Compton finished with 10 points.
It seemed as though Academy was pulling away in the third period. A pair of layups from senior Dorrian Moultrie kept Bishop Ready firmly in the rearview mirror, and the Vikes owned a 39-32 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Moultrie led CA with 14 points on the night.
After the Silver Knights scored on each of its first three possessions to knot the game, the Vikings built back an advantage. Bishop Ready cut its deficit to 3, but Moultrie buried a pair of clutch free throws to give his team breathing room. With time winding down, the Silver Knights canned a corner three, before sending Carter Warstler to the charity stripe with 6.5 seconds to play. The junior calmly drilled both, sealing the victory for Academy.
The Vikes then hit the road for a showdown with Grandview Heights on Friday, February 8. Though the Bobcats’ Luke Lachey was in action this time around, CA got the better of the matchup again, 48-43.
Behind a monster first period from Compton, the Vikings took control. Compton scored or assisted on 10 of Academy’s 14 points and stapled a layup to the glass on the other end, as the Vikes bolted out to an 8-point lead.
It was Grandview Heights’ turn to dominate in the second quarter, as the Bobcats outscored CA 12-2. Back-to-back blocks by senior Chris Boyle helped stop the bleeding, but the Vikings still trailed heading into the locker rooms.
Grandview Heights extended its cushion and tried to blow the game open, but Academy battled to stay in it. The Vikes closed the gap before the Bobcats drilled a long-distance bomb to finish the period with a 32-26 advantage.
CA played one of its best quarters of the season to finish the contest. Compton hit a couple of free throws, then ripped down an offensive rebound and fed Boyle for a deep ball. Less than two minutes later, Compton came down with another offensive board and hit two free throws to even the score at 37. He finished with 12 points, 11 rebounds, and 5 assists.
The Vikings capitalized on their momentum. With a hand in his grill, Boyle drained his fourth three of the game to give Academy the lead for good. He and Moultrie then combined to sink six free throws down the stretch, putting the game on ice. Boyle finished with a game-high of 19 points, and Moultrie added 10. The comeback win means that the Vikes have earned at least a share of the MSL title.
CA has a busy week ahead to close the regular season, as the Vikings will host Wellington on Monday, February 11, before traveling to Watkins Memorial on Tuesday, February 12. Academy returns home for a clash with Whitehall on Friday, February 15, and an opportunity to win the league title outright with a win.