The newly constructed Patrick School lineup has been intact for only one game, so it is surely too soon to pass definitive judgment on its potential impact upon the rest of this season in Union County and Non-Public B.
But one little regular-season game certainly can be magnified when it is played against the reigning Tournament of Champions winner and still one of the best teams in New Jersey.
Senior forward Angel Delgado, a 6-8 December transfer, struck for a season-high 26 points and added 13 rebounds and more recent addition Dupree McBrayer tossed in 19 points and grabbed five rebounds in his St. Patrick debut to direct the Celtics, No. 12 in the MSG Varsity NJ Power Rankings, to a 69-53 upset over No. 2 Roselle Catholic Sunday night at the Investor Scholarship Games at Kean University in Union.
That snapped a 13-game winning streak for Roselle Catholic (5-1), which posted win No. 9 in that run by thrashing a young and inexperienced Celtics squad, 74-44, on opening day Dec. 20.That represents a 46-point swing in just over three weeks for Pat's (4-4).
"This is one game, and with the youth and inexperience, we have to grow from that," Celtics head coach Chris Chavannes said. "We could come back and lay an egg Tuesday against Plainfield."
Neither Delgado, a Seton Hall University recruit, nor the 6-3 McBrayer was enrolled at the Patrick School in that first game with Roselle Catholic. Delgado arrived in Elizabeth from Huntington Prep (N.Y.) two days after the loss, while McBrayer was registered at the Patrick School two weeks ago from Quest Academy in Las Vegas, and began classes last Monday, according to Chavannes.
"He was on the bench for the Linden (Thursday) and Elizabeth (Friday) games. Family moved back from Vegas, where he was going to school for two years," Chavannes said. He's a heckuva payer."
He is indeed. McBrayer has excellent quickness (executed in a smooth, gliding manner), a sure handle and he can shoot from the perimeter. He, in fact, buried two 3-pointers in the first quarter to help the Celtics establish a surprising 21-11 lead and sank another in the third when Pat's built a 51-37 advantage.
Junior forward Pierre Sarr scored 20 points for Roselle Catholic, including 13 in the second half with a combination of free throws resulting from his aggressive dribble penetration and perimeter shots. Chris Silva, who scored 17 in the first meeting with Pat's, and Matt Bullock each had nine points.
Delgado--a skilled performer both with his back to the basket and in transition, and also a strong defensive presence--was playing in his seventh game for Pat's and had come in averaging 15.2 points and almost six rebounds a game. All that he does well was enhanced by the attention Roselle Catholic was suddenly forced to hoist upon McBrayer.
"He's really good," Delgado said of McBrayer. "He'll really help the team because he can go guard and he shoots a lot. He's a really good person for the team."
McBrayer's dual ability to handle the ball and shoot also alleviated the pressure upon sophomore point guard Bryce Aiken.
Roselle Catholic was able to choke off the Patrick School's untested scoring options and force Aiken to seek a substantial scoring role in the game last month. With McBrayer now on the opposite wing and Delgado lurking about the lane, Aiken was able to simply play the role of facilitator.
"That's what he does," Chavannes said. "His (McBrayer's) presence on the floor allows him to settle down. Angel did that as well for Cyril Langevine (a 6-6 sophomore), because he'd been very nervous and he stepped up. He became very comfortable."
Langevine was , but Chavannes said he's not close to feeling at ease with his roster just yet--no matter how cohesive and dangerous Patrick was on this night against a talented RC team, which stands to become all the more talented in eight days.
That's when highly recruited junior guard Isaiah Briscoe becomes eligible for Roselle Catholic after sitting 30 days as a transfer from St. Benedict's. Briscoe did not have a chance of address, so was obligated to follow NJSIAA rules regarding such transfers.
"I knew from Day One, with our without Dupree, we have an abundance of talent and an abundance of youth and talent," Chavannes said. "We just can't look past anyone right now, and I fear the youth and inexperience, I really do.
"There's talent out there; I'm not blind to that," he said. "But there's nothing to coach inexperience other than just staying on it and staying the course."
Patrick School (4-4) 21 11 19 18 69
Roselle Catholic (5-1) 11 13 13 16 53
Langevine 0-0-0-0, Aiken 2-0-5-9, Henriquez 0-2-0-6, Harris 1-1-1-6, Delgado 10-0-6-26, McClarry 0-0-0-0, McBrayer 3-3-4-19, Roundtree 0-0-0-0, Bior-Ajang 0-1-0-3.
Bullock 4-0-1-9, Gist 1-1-0-5, Sarr 1-4-6-20, Silva 3-0-3-9, Pretlow 0-0-0-0, David 0-1-0-3, Cisse 1-0-1-3, Elliot 0-1-1-4, Hines 0-0-0-0.
Mike Kinney covers boys basketball for MSG Varsity. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeKinneyHS