Top-ranked Mount St. Joseph showed off its depth last night at home in Irvington with a 71-45 romp over Eastern Tech in boys basketball.
Coach Pat Clatchey had cleared his bench midway through the final quarter, using all 13 Gaels available with 11 of them scoring.
Star point guard Brian Johnson sat out because of an ankle injury, but he's expected to play in the prestigious Gonzaga Classic in Washington, which starts tomorrow.
Louis Birdsong led the Gaels (4-0) with 13 points, followed by 12 from Dejuan Goodwin, nine by Courtney Thomas and eight each from Dino Gregory and Chase Adams. Birdsong, a 6-foot-5 junior transfer from Randallstown, tied the 6-6 Thomas for the game high in rebounds with eight.
The Gaels shot 11-for-16 from the floor in the first quarter, and Goodwin, a 6-2 junior forward who missed last season with an injury, scored nine of his points in a 24-7 run.
By the half, the Gaels had made six three-pointers, including two by Adams, and built a 42-17 lead that would balloon to 35 points in the third quarter.
"They're way too much for us right now," said Eastern Tech coach Todd Wade, whose Mavericks were playing their season opener. "It shows us how far we've got to go and work."
Tyler Massey, who is 6-9, led Tech with 13 points and seven rebounds, and Ryan Anderson, Aaron Barnett and Carlos Brown each scored six points.
"We're in a situation with Brian being nicked up the last two games that it gives Chase a chance to go out there and run the team," Clatchey said. "Anytime you can go out there and play in game conditions [regardless of the score], it's a positive. I've been very pleased with our defense."
Clatchey said his team is ready to go to Washington and compete with several nationally ranked teams at Gonzaga. The Gaels open at 6:45 tomorrow night against nationally No. 7-ranked Germantown Academy.
On Friday, the scene shifts to American University, and the Gaels will play another nationally ranked team.
"We're going to find out a lot about ourselves, and regardless of what we do in the first round, we'll be playing either DeMatha or Westbury Christian [N.J.]," Clatchey said. "Our guys are excited."
Thomas said the Gaels are looking forward to the competition.
"Our defense is playing really well and we just need to work on our offensive execution and we can have a very good year again," Thomas said of the defending Baltimore Catholic League champs.
"Playing the No. 7 team in the nation down there on Thursday will be a real good test and prepare us for the Catholic."