When you are Rice High School, there always seems to
be another bullet in the chamber.
With a slew of Division I prospects to turn to,
coach Maurice Hicks never seems to deplete his
seemingly endless bench. Friday night at the Gauchos'
gym in the South Bronx however, it was an unheralded
regular who provided the early ammunition to take down
Brooklyn's Bishop Loughlin.
6'4'' swingman Christian Brown tossed in 20 first
half points en route to a 26 point performance,
sparking a 12-4 run before the half and handing the
Raiders a 42-27 halftime lead that they would not
Brown scored from deep, connecting on 5 of 6
three-pointers on the game, and grappled underneath
for caroms and putbacks, but perhaps more importantly
impacted the game at both ends of the floor,
spearheading Rice's smothering defensive effort and
propelling Hicks's team to an 88-60 win.
It was a shoddy defensive performance by Brown in
the teams' first match-up that was the impetus for his
inspired effort Friday.
"The first time we played Loughlin, Curtis Sumpter
had a great game, and I took it personally," said
Brown. "I made sure it didn't happen again."
Sumpter did everything in his power to keep Loughlin
afloat, blocking shots, knocking down multiple threes,
and mixing it up inside. Sumpter scored eight points
over a one-minute span late in the second quarter,
including three-pointers on consecutive possessions,
to cut Rice's lead to five, at 30-25 with 2:40 left in
After Rice's run before the intermission, however,
the Raiders continued to pile on the points, as the
Rice went on an 8-1 run midway through the second
quarter, punctuated by a steal and a three by Brown.
The run, which also included a steal and lay-in and a
three from the corner by Steve Burtt, Jr., stretched
Rice's advantage to 23 at 53-29 with 4:22 left in the
third quarter, and the game was essentially out of
Loughlin could do little to contend with Rice's
stifling full-court pressure, as the Raiders parlayed
Lion turnovers into more transition buckets. On this
night, Loughlin's stagnant offense could generate
little production outside of Sumpter, who hit for 18
points, and the deficit continued to mount.
The lead would hit 30 late in the fourth quarter on
an emphatic left-handed dunk by 6'7'' sophomore Arturo
Dubois before Hicks emptied the bench, as Rice
triumphed by a decisive 88-60 count.
For Rice, Brown was all over the floor, cleaning up
teammates' misses, swatting away shot attempts, and
connecting on a couple of back-breaking threes. He
finished the game with 26 points, four blocks, three
steals, and a slew of rebounds. The emerging Dubois, a
young talent in the post, added 16 points, all around
the basket. Seven-footer Shagari Alleyne tallied 11
points, including four dunks, while Burtt chipped in
Sumpter led Loughlin with 18 points, including three
three-pointers. Athletic junior guard Kojo Mensah
added 12 points, most of the slashing variety, while
junior wing Kirk Bunn contributed 8 points.