Chris Montie suffered a concussion in a St. Joseph's Prep practice two days after Thanksgiving, taking an inadvertent elbow to the head, and had to sit out the team's first three games.
Showing little rust from the layoff in his first appearance of the season, the 6-foot-6, 195-pound senior forward helped the visiting Hawks, who trailed by 10 points midway through the third quarter, overcome Malvern Prep, 51-46, in a nonleague contest Friday afternoon.
Montie's first practice since the injury was on Thursday. "I just wanted to take the same approach to the game, fly around, and bring energy to the team," the second-year starter said.
Montie, one of two returning starters for St. Joe's, totaled 17 rebounds, including eight on the offensive end, seven points, and four blocked shots. "He saved the day for us," Hawks coach Speedy Morris said.
Midway through the third quarter, the Friars took a 34-24 advantage on Brady Devereaux's left-wing three-pointer and Tommy Wolfe's two free throws.
Early in the fourth, Montie's left-baseline trey started a 14-2 run that produced a 45-38 lead. "I'm obviously not the main scorer on the team, but I pick my spots," he said. "I'm looking to attack the basket more than I did last year."
Pete Gayhardt, a 6-5 senior for the Hawks, pitched in 15 rebounds, 10 points, and a blocked shot. Montie and Gayhardt, who will play lacrosse at Notre Dame, make up a strong one-two punch in the paint.
Kinnel and fellow sophomore guard Kyle Thompson posted 12 and nine points, respectively. Brian Griffin, a junior guard, drilled a pair of first-half treys en route to eight points. The Hawks triumphed despite 16 turnovers.
The Friars used Will Powers' trey and Wolfe's five straight points to forge a 46-46 tie with 44 seconds remaining. But Thompson's three-point play, on a right side drive at the 24-second mark, and two free throws sealed the road victory.
Powers led Malvern (2-3) with 18 points, including four triples, and seven boards. Overall, the hosts went 7 for 26 from beyond the arc.
Montie, an erstwhile baseball player, is open to playing basketball at a Division II or III program. But if no school comes calling, his plan is to study medicine at Fordham, Georgetown, or Villanova.
St. Joseph's Prep 10 11 10 20 - 51
Malvern Prep 15 9 12 10 - 46
SJP: Darius Kinnel 12, Kyle Thompson 9, Temi Aiyegbusi 4, Chris Montie 7, Pete Gayhardt 10, Brian Griffin 8, Evan Wall 1.
MP: Will Powers 18, Tommy Wolfe 7, Mike Narzikul 4, Mike Hollingsworth 2, O'Shaan Allison 2, Brady Devereaux 9, Billy Corcoran 2, Quinn McCahon 2.