Goretti Downs St. James Despite Monster Triple-Double From Obi Enechionya

St. Maria Goretti and Saint James have formed quite a rivalry on the hardwood.

On Wednesday night Capitol Hoops traveled up to Hagerstown, Maryland to check out the two rivals, and to check out a couple big time recruits; The Enechionya brothers, Obi and Nnamdi, of St. James and Martin Geben, a Lithuanian native, for Goretti.  For the second straight night we were in a packed house, and the action was intense.

Junior blue-chip recruit Obi Enechionya didn’t disappoint as he proved to be a highlight factory, going for a triple double with 22 points, 1o blocks, and close to 20 rebounds, to go along with a pair of assists.  His older brother Nnamdi, played a pretty good game as well despite constant full court pressure double teams.  Martin Geben, a 6’9″ junior played a very good game as well despite the match-up problem he had with the long athletic younger Enechionya brother.  But he did well in the post, showing both the typical European big man game and the bruiser interior game. Geben finished with 10 points including 4-4 from the free throw line.  Goretti guard Tyrus Fleetwood played a great game as well and led the Gaels in scoring with 21.

But perhaps the player who stood out most was Goretti senior point guard Ryan Grant.  Grant put on perhaps the purest point guard game that we have seen this season despite not attempting a single field goal in the entire game.  He finished with 11 assists, one turnover, and played the position as well as it can be played.  He hit teammate after teammate right in their sweet spot, commanded double teams with penetration, and seemed to find every cutter, or open teammate on the perimeter all game long.  In fact, we still don’t know if he is left-handed or right handed, but if we had to guess we’d say lefty.  He reminded us of a cross between John Stockton and Aaron Craft; the piece that makes the puzzle work.  Like Stockton, a pure distributor but perhaps a little bit of a defensive liability, and like Craft, a motor, and vision that can’t be taught.

It wasn’t a typical game because it was apparent that the game belonged to Goretti, but the show belonged to Obi.  Obi blocked shot after shot and probably grabbed two thirds of St. James’ rebounds.  His scoring wasn’t quite on track early but he began to turn it on as the game progressed.  But it was too little, too late.  Goretti played team basketball, and led from wire to wire and walked away with a 63-44 victory.  St. James just couldn’t get it going and had numerous defensive breakdowns when Obi wasn’t in the paint to erase the mistakes.

Goretti will be coming down o the DMV this coming Sunday to participate in the DMV Elite Holliday Classic at Trinity University at 12:45 against a tough National Christian squad.   Circle your calendars for January 22nd when St. James will be coming down to D.C. to play at Sidwell Friends.  The Josh Hart, Obi match-up may be one of the best we’ll see this season.

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