Brockington's late surge keeps Ryan boys unbeaten
Being a team's best offensive player comes with challenges. For Archbishop Ryan senior Izaiah Brockington, that means balancing your own offensive ability with that of your teammates.
Being a team's best offensive player comes with challenges.
For Archbishop Ryan senior Izaiah Brockington, that means balancing your own offensive ability with that of your teammates.
Tuesday afternoon against host Episcopal Academy, Brockington started slowly but took over late, scoring 11 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter of the Raiders' 44-43 come-from-behind victory.
Brockington had just two points at halftime and only four as the Raiders (7-0) entered the fourth quarter behind, 34-23, against the shorthanded Churchmen (6-2).
"He definitely took over in the fourth," said Ryan coach Joe Zeglinski. Teams are "playing him different ways, and he's figuring that out and getting [teammates] involved earlier on. And when he had to take over, he took over. So I'm proud of him and how he's playing very unselfishly, and I think that's going to make us a better team as the year goes on."
Brockington finished 6 of 12 overall but was 5 of 8 in the final frame, including the eventual game-winning, mid-range jump shot from the top of the key with 1 minute, 7 seconds left.
Ryan also received 13 important points and seven rebounds from senior forward Mattis Kulackovskis.
"The finish was everything for us because we were down by double-digits early," said Brockington, who has committed to the New Jersey Institute of Technology. "We just knew when we came out in the second half that it was about who wanted it more. We had to play with more intensity because we were lackluster in the first half."
Episcopal was without its best player, Nick Alikakos, a Navy commit, who was out with a sprained ankle, which he had in a protective boot while he sat on the sidelines. Episcopal coach Craig Conlin said Alikakos could be out about four weeks.
His absence was certainly noticed by Ryan.
Brockington said word spread that the 6-foot-7 senior forward was out as the Raiders warmed up, but Brockington also added there was no excuse for his team's slow play.
The Churchmen were led by senior point guard Conner Delaney, who finished with 15 points, six rebounds and five assists.
Sophomore guard Matt Dade added 11 points, and senior forward Kyle Virbitsky supplied nine points and six rebounds.
Ryan, which shot just 18 of 47 overall (38 percent), 4 of 16 (25 percent) from behind the three-point line and 4 of 10 (40 percent) from the foul line, turned up its defensive pressure and forced six turnovers in the fourth quarter.
Ryan finished with 10 steals, led by Chris Palantino (also eight points) and Amin Bryant, who had three steals each.
Episcopal attempted just four field goals in the fourth quarter and finished the game with 14 turnovers.
Archbishop Ryan 7 9 7 21 - 44
Episcopal 14 11 9 9 - 43
AR: Izaiah Brockington 15, Mattis Kulackovskis 13, Fred Taylor 6, Chris Palantino 8, JaQuill Stone 2.
EA: Conner Delaney 15, Matt Dade 11, Kyle Virbitsky 9, Jermaine Rhoden 4, Jack Purcell 4.