Until Wednesday, most of coach Carl Jacobs’ International High School boys’ basketball team had never seen a 7-footer up close.
That changed when the Jaguars took on Woodside Priory and 7-foot-1 junior Greg Somogyi in the first-round of the Gryphon Holiday Shootout at Crystal Springs Uplands.
There was an adjustment period. Twenty blocked shots will do that.
Woodside Priory (5-2) defeated International 46-28 and moves on to play host Crystal Springs Uplands in a semifinal game Friday at 7:30 p.m.. International (3-3) falls to the consolation bracket to play the HarkerSchool also on Friday at 4:30 p.m.
"In Division V, you don’t see too many 7-footers," Jacobs said.
In this game, it seemed that Somogyi’s presence stunned the Jags, who were outscored 17-2 in the second quarter before playing the Panthers even in the second half.
"With a young team," Jacobs said, "you’re going to have ups and downs. That’s the way it is."
It did not help International’s cause when star point guard Josh Merritt, the "heart and soul" of the team, according to Jacobs, picked up three fouls in the first quarter.
With Merritt sitting, the Jaguars were without their main scorer and forced to try to score inside, where Somogyi waited. Eight of his 20 blocks came in the second quarter.
Reggie Willhite had 21 points to lead Woodside Priory, while Merritt had 13 for International.
Galileo 56, Drew 47
The Lions (3-1) used a balanced attack to overcome 35 points from Dragons senior Scott Schulkin, winning a first-round game. Galileo advances to Friday’s 6 p.m. semifinal against Lick-Wilmerding.
Senior point guard Asante Delacruz had 13 points led three Galileo players in double figures, while big Deante Bernstine cleaned up on the boards with 11 rebounds.
After a closely played first quarter, Galileo took the lead early in the second and never gave it up. Schulkin did his best to keep Drew (3-3) in the game, dropping in five 3-pointers, but Galileo’s speedy guards (Delacruz and Mike Traikov) and brawny frontcourt (Bernstine, John Maldonado, Ike Ekah) proved to be too much for the undermanned Dragons.
Lick-Wilmerding 66, St. Lawrence (Sunnyvale) 31
The Tigers (4-1) used a game-long swarming defense to beat the Celtics (0-1) easily in their first-round game. Led by Nick Miller’s 21 points, Lick-Wilmerding dominated.
St. Lawrence’s Matt Arensberg and Michael Hoffman combined for 31 rebounds, but the game was never close.
Lick-Wilmerding countered with a full-court man press that flustered the Celtic guards, forcing turnover after turnover.
Miller, whose 13 second-half points included four 3s, provided the bulk of the Tigers’ offense, with Justin Costa-Roberts, Marcus Wells and Nick Hemenway chipping in with nine, eight and seven points, respectively.